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China's economic slowdown reasonable, investment globally critical: business leaders, experts

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DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- China is moving on the right path of economic transition and will remain a major contributor to global investment, foreign economic experts and business leaders have said.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang returned to Beijing on Friday after attending the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in this Swiss ski resort, where he made a keynote speech explaining China's entry into a state of "new normal" and outlining its economic strategy and focus in 2015.

Inspired by Li's remarks, Adam Posen, president of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, expressed his optimism about China's market opportunity based on its stable macro-economic outlook.

After decades of economic growth at a fast rate, Posen said, it is reasonable that the Chinese economy is undergoing a slowdown with a lower growth target in place, in a bid to achieve "more stable progress forward" on a more sustainable path.

Noting that China's economy will still maintain a growth rate of 6.5-7 percent in the coming years, Posen said China's economic stability, like that in the United States and the euro zone, is critical to the global economy.

He also expected a leap forward in productivity when China's private sector has more presence in the service industry.

"Premier Li gave an excellent picture of the Chinese economic outlook," said Roger Barnett, chairman and CEO of Shaklee Corporation, an American nutrition supplement manufacturer.

Under the "new normal" in its economic development, China remains a major powerhouse for investment on a global basis, Barnett said.

He added that China's economic reforms are beneficial to investors, especially those who want to create more job opportunities while protecting the environment.

"These reforms are welcome by the investor community and we are looking forward to them being implemented in a very short term," said Barnett, noting that his company is expanding its business in China.

The opportunities brought about by Chinese investors should be warmly embraced, said Mario Moretti Polegato, CEO of Italian shoe manufacturer GEOX, who met Li a month ago during Li's visit to Italy.

Many Chinese investors are interested in and looking for business opportunities in Italy, especially with small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) there, Polegato said.

Italian SMEs are known for their creativity and would produce very promising results if receiving investment from Chinese investors, he explained.

Commenting on China's economic transition, Philip Jennings, general secretary of Swiss-based UNI Global Union, said that there remains a great potential to be tapped into in China's domestic consumption.

"It is clear that the level of consumption in the overall economic activity of China is only about 30 percent," Jennings said. "If you look at other countries, it's close to 70 percent, so there's clearly much room for domestic consumption and development."

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