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Fri, Dec 03, 2004 - Page 12 News List

China announces adjustments to economic policies

AFP , BEIJING

China announced yesterday adjustments to economic planning for next year that will change current "pro-active" fiscal and monetary policies to more "prudent" measures.

The move is aimed at stimulating growth in the agricultural sector while cooling down over-heating in other areas, the leading People's Daily reported.

Fast-tracking agricultural production and raising rural incomes would remain the top priority of government economic work the next year, according to a decision made by the Politiburo of the Communist Party (CCP) on Wednesday.

Adjusting China's economic structure in line with domestic and international market conditions would also form a major task for the government in the coming year, the report said.

The government would further strengthen efforts to control investment in fixed assets by beefing up regulations on controlling land use and credit, it added.

The meeting, chaired by President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) set the stage for the party's annual economic work meeting which is expected to deliver a more detailed economic plan for next year when it meets "in the coming days."

China's economy is expected to grow at a rate of around nine percent this year despite efforts by the government to rein in infrastructure construction and real estate development that has led to overheating in such areas as steel and cement production.

In an effort to cool down the economy, the central bank recently raised interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade, while the government has issued edicts to slow investment and bank loans and restrict land use.

In its annual economic outlook report, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said this week that China's economic growth was expected to slow to eight percent next year.

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