BEIJING, Dec. 9 -- CHINA'S chief decision makers gathered in Beijing yesterday to begin setting the nation's economic work plan for next year amid the global financial crisis and slowing domestic growth.
Analysts said they expect this year's Central Economic Work Conference to map out specific strategies for solving the problems China will confront, including the wide range of risks brought by the slowdown, difficulties facing small and medium-sized enterprises and the transformation of the country's economic structure.
Forecasters said the nation's economy would rise 9 percent in 2009, compared with 11.4 percent last year.
Late last month, President Hu Jintao said the top priority for the country's 2009 economic development agenda is to maintain "stable and relatively fast growth." He said the country will pursue a growth policy that stresses quality and efficiency, while strengthening domestic demand and restructuring the economy.
The president also said the country will continue to practice "active" fiscal and "moderately loose" monetary policies.
These policies were adopted last month in response to the unfolding financial crisis. They represent a transition from the earlier tight monetary policies aimed at curbing inflation and averting overheating.
Despite falling off the pace of last year's double-digit expansion, the world's fastest-growing major economy has maintained relatively strong growth so far this year despite blizzards, a massive earthquake in May and recent shocks from the ongoing financial crisis. The economy grew 9.9 percent year on year in the first three quarters.
But worries over a slowdown began to surface in recent months, as the global fallout struck home. Third-quarter growth ebbed to 9 percent, the slowest pace in about five years, due to a smaller rise in exports and investment.
(Source: Shanghai Daily)