Annual economic gauging: High-quality growth projected for 2018
By CGTN's Sun Ye & Dong Hailin
China's top economic planners and experts gathered Saturday in Beijing for an annual get-together, where they take stock of the past year and try to get a handle on the one ahead. And they expect 2018 to see quality growth across the board.
“The Chinese economy has fared better in 2017 than we expected, largely thanks to the ever-growing domestic consumption, and a less-than-5 percent unemployment rate, the lowest in years,” Ning Jizhe, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission, told the meeting.
The annual year-end meeting on China's economy took place on Saturday. /CGTN Photo

The annual year-end meeting on China's economy took place on Saturday. /CGTN Photo

The GDP growth rate for the year is expected to land at around 6.8 percent and dip a little for 2018.
That's nowhere near China's double-digit growth years ago, but even so, these figures are seen to represent good tidings by many a signal for a wholesome economic shift. That is, from speedy to sturdy.
And as that transition takes shape, it will soon be measured with a new set of metrics – the green growth index.
“The most important thing about the Chinese economy in this new era is its focus on high-quality growth," Ning said. "And we have to rate the economy in this new light. The national statistics bureau will come up with a new gauge system that takes in factors from green growth to openness and innovation.”
VCG Photo

VCG Photo

Meanwhile, experts say the changes to come in the new year not only bode well for the country, but also outside investors.
Zhang Dawei, deputy director from China Center for International Economic Exchange, told CGTN that, “Even after 40 years of opening up, it's still what China pushes. During the central economic conference, foreign enterprises were promised more access to the Chinese market. We also expect the negative list to change to their benefit. Fewer sectors will be off-limits for foreign investors."
According to the statement from the tone-setting Central Economic Work Conference that closed Wednesday, China will continue to grapple with major tasks including financial risk control, poverty alleviation and environmental protection in the new year. 
And analysts at the annual planning meeting are widely optimistic about achieving these goals.