P.K.BALACHANDRAN | 30 JULY, 2018
Interview with Cheng Xueyuan, China’s Ambassador to Sri Lanka
COLOMBO: The rise in domestic demand, which indicates an improvement in the internal economic conditions and the quality of life of the masses, is the mainspring of China’s burgeoning economy, says Cheng Xueyuan, China’s Ambassador to Sri Lanka.
“Domestic demand has become the main driving force of economic development. In the first half of 2018, the total retail sales of consumer goods were 18 trillion yuan (US$ 2.7 trillion), increasing by 9.4% compared with last year. Among them sales online were 4.1 trillion yuan (US$ 601.9 billion), representing a year-on-year growth of 30.1%,” Cheng said.
The value added of high-tech industry, equipment manufacturing industry, and emerging sectors of strategic importance increased by 11.6%, 9.2% and 8.7% respectively.
A multitude of new forms of industry, new models and new technology are booming.
China has achieved “relative full employment” with 6.13 million new urban jobs being created in the first five months of 2018.
Quality and performance are constantly improving. Profits of enterprises have sustained relatively high growth, with the total profits of enterprises above designated size reaching 2.7 trillion yuan, (US$ 405 billion) a year-on-year growth of 16.5%.
Balance of payments has improved and trade surplus in goods in the first half of 2018 was 901.3 billion yuan (US$ 136.5 billion).
A leverage ratio is any one of several financial measurements that look at how much capital comes in the form of debt (loans), or assesses the ability of a company an economy to meet its financial obligations.
In this respect risks in key areas were generally under control in China.
Structural de-leveraging is advancing in order, the growth of macro leverage ratio slowing down and leverage ratio of enterprises continuing to decline, the Ambassador said.
The financial and fiscal sectors are operating soundly on the whole.
In the first half of 2018, the general public budget income exceeded 10 trillion yuan (US$ 1.4 trillion), increasing by 10.6% compared with last year.
China’s population has strong consumption ability and purchasing power, and a round of extensive and profound “consumption upgrading” is in progress.
With a vast national market and the tendency of consumption upgrading, both the potential and leeway of China’s domestic market are huge.
Meanwhile, China has accumulated abundant means and resources in its macro-regulation, and therefore is capable and confident enough in leading its economy to develop steadily in the medium and long term.
“This year marks the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up and China’s achievements in the past 40 years originate from reform and opening-up. In the new era, we will stay committed to advancing reform in all respects, stick to the problem-oriented principle, and focus on solving systematic and institutional problems obstructing economic development,” the Ambassador said.
Opening Economy To The World
“We will unswervingly open wider to the outside world and constantly add new impetus to China’s economic and social development through reform and opening-up in the new era,” the envoy added.
“It is good news for the whole world that China’s economy registered a stable performance with good momentum since China contributes around 30% of global growth on average since 2002.”
Achievement in Poverty Reduction
“China has become a key engine for world economic recovery and growth. China’s modernization process has advanced rapidly, which brings about huge space for consumption and investment and creates more employment opportunities for the world.”
“Over the past four decades, more than 700 million Chinese people have been lifted out of poverty according to current UN standards, accounting for more than 70% of the global total over the same period and offering the highest contribution rate of poverty reduction to the world.”
“China has become the world’s second largest importer and largest source of outbound visits.”
“China ranks No.3 worldwide in terms of the annual flow of its outward foreign direct investment in 2017 and has remained as one of the top three investment destinations for many years in a row.”
Need For Global Integration
“The world economy has already become a closely related and highly integrated global economic network. No single country could immune oneself from adverse developments casting aside the global economic system and everyone will benefit from a well-established and robust global economic system,” the Ambassador said.
“Since China is the second largest economy in the world, the sound development of its economy could not only boost the confidence for global economic development, but also provide real opportunities and support for other economies, especially developing countries, “ he said.
International Import Expo
“In November this year, we will hold the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai. This is the world’s first expo themed on import and is a major policy measure of China to further open its market to the world. In the coming 15 years, China is expected to import US$ 24 trillion USD worth of goods,” the envoy said.
“The CIIE will provide new opportunities for export, build new platforms for countries to share dividends of China’s development and inject new vitality to world economic growth.”
Opportunities for Sri Lanka
“Sri Lanka’s black tea, rubber, gems, textiles and other products will come to Shanghai, exhibiting the charm of Sri Lanka to the huge Chinese market,” the Ambassador added.
Belt and Road Initiative
Linking this to President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the ambassador said: “The BRI aims at upholding the global free trade system and an open world economy, promoting coordination of economic policies for participating countries, and carrying out regional cooperation to create an open, inclusive and balanced regional economic cooperation framework which is beneficial to all.”
“Its major goals include policy coordination, facilities connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration and people-to-people bonds.”
“These five aspects form an organic whole which is the new public product offered by China to the world in the new situation.”
“Sri Lanka is a key component of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, with Hambantota Port and Colombo Port City as the two flagship projects of the pragmatic cooperation between China and Sri Lanka under the Belt and Road Initiative.”
Concluding the Ambassador said: “We believe that under the guidance of the important consensuses reached by leaders from our two countries, China-Sri Lanka economic and trade cooperation will inject new vigor to Sri Lanka’s economic and social development, enable development achievements to better benefit our two peoples, and let ordinary people get more sense of gain.”