China president says risks to economy 'not that scary'

Sat Nov 8, 2014 9:54pm EST
 
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By Sui-Lee Wee and Gerry Shih

BEIJING (Reuters) - The risks faced by China's economy are not that scary and the government is confident it can head off the dangers, President Xi Jinping told global business leaders on Sunday to dispel worries about the world's second-largest economy.

In a speech to chief executives at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit, Xi said even if China's economy were to grow 7 percent, that would still rank it at the forefront of the world's economies.

China's economy, the world's second-largest, has had a rocky year. Growth slid to a low not seen since the 2008/09 global financial crisis in the third quarter dragged by a housing slowdown, softening domestic demand and unsteady exports.

"Some people worry that China's economic growth will fall further, can it climb over the ridge?" Xi said. "There are indeed risks, but it's not so scary.

"Even at growth of around 7 percent, regardless of speed or volume, (we) are among the best in the world," he said, noting that China's economy remained "stable".

The remarks from Xi came a day after data showed annual growth in Chinese exports and imports cooled in October, in another sign of fragility in the economy that could prompt policymakers to take further action to stoke growth.

To shore up activity, policymakers have loosened monetary and fiscal policies since April to ensure that the economy can grow by around 7.5 percent this year.

Regional governments have accelerated spending on some infrastructure projects and abolished limits on the number of homes that Chinese can buy. The central bank has also injected short-term loans into banks to increase credit supply, and cut mortgage rates for some home buyers.   Continued...

 
China's President Xi Jinping speaks at the Dialogue On Strengthening Connectivity Partnership at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing November 8, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon