China capable of maintaining reasonably high growth rate in 2019: economist
China will be able to maintain a growth rate of around 6.5 percent and continue to contribute about 30 percent of global economic expansion, Justin Lin Yifu, former senior vice president and chief economist at the World Bank, said Thursday.
"Looking ahead what will be the prospect for China's growth in 2019...I'm confident," said Lin, also the honorary dean of National School of Development at Peking University, during at "Forecast: China's Economy 2019," an event hosted by the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and Peking University's China Center for Economic Research in New York.
He attributed his optimism mainly to the fact that the Chinese economy will enter the expansionary stage of its ongoing supply-side structural reform over the next few years.
Lin noted that since 2016, the Chinese government has advocated implementing some kind of supply-side structural reform in order to improve the quality of its economy and avoid possible systemic financial risks.
The economist spoke highly of China's willingness to undertake this bold approach since structural reform has been discussed in almost every country, but most only talk since they are afraid of the potential pain of contraction.
Lin pointed out that China's economic policies are "responsive and contingent," and as the country has achieved the major goals of reducing excess capacity, destocking and deleveraging, the focus will shift to reducing the administrative cost or burden to the enterprises and removing the bottlenecks to growth.
Policies such as cutting down the tax rate for the private sector and reducing business red tape will not only boost investment but also create a favorable environment for the business community, he said.
According to the World Bank report "Doing Business 2019: Training for Reform," published in October 2018, China moved up more than 30 places to 46th position in the global rankings, reflecting that it had made dramatic improvements to its business environment over the past year.
China's resolve to remove the bottlenecks in its economy and support investment in such areas as industrial upgrading, infrastructure, environmental protection, and urbanization will also give a stimulus to its economic growth, Lin said.
He added that the Chinese market and growth will be an opportunity for the Chinese people and the business community globally, including in the U.S.