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China's economic slowdown aims at pursuing growth quality: British economist

Source:   Time:

LONDON, March 11 (Xinhua) -- One of the reasons of China's economic slowdown is that it is a "greatly deliberate" policy of the Chinese government in a search for a better quality of growth rather than just focusing on the quantity, said Jim O'Neill, a British economist, on Wednesday.

O'Neill, who coined the term BRIC, acronym of Brazil, Russia, India and China, in 2001, is the former Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management.

Speaking at China Business Conference 2015 here, O'Neill said the Chinese economy is indeed slowing down, and it has been doing so for several years with lots of reasons can be attributed to it.

Despite the slowdown, it has not slowed as much as he expected, O'Neill noted.

"Even with China's slowing to seven percent, China will create another India (in terms of GDP) every two years," he said.

The Chinese government last Thursday set its annual economic growth target at "around seven percent".

Citing data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Goldman Sachs, O'Neill highlighted China's tremendous contribution to the world growth in the first decade of this century.

And in the period from 2011 to 2014, China's growth was average at 8.0 percent, far beyond the world's 3.4 percent and BRIC's 6.1 percent in average over the same period. From 2011 to 2020, China's average growth would be 7.5 percent, still exceeding the world's 4.1 percent and BRIC's 6.6 percent.

"China today is a 10-trillion-dollar economy, when I coined the 'BRIC' abbreviated term, it was over one trillion dollars," he said. But this is not the Chinese government concerns about, and the quality of growth is what it is all about.

O'Neill indicated the ratio of retail sales versus industrial production, of which an indicator greater than one implies rebalancing, to justify China's ambitious and visionary process of economic restructuring.

"In my judgment, that (the indicator) is now what the people in the UK and the rest of world should be all focus on than GDP growth, because it is this implying opportunities ... And since the beginning of this decade, the indicator has gone on the right direction," he said.

The winners and losers of this "new quality China" are going to be a lot different than the winners and losers of the "old China". Opportunities mainly lie on the so-called "luxury light" consumption, which includes health care and consumption for the broader middle class and lower income groups, rather than luxury goods consumption, he added.

In July 2014, O'Neill was appointed by British Prime Minister David Cameron to head an international commission to investigate global antimicrobial resistance.

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