BEIJING, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) -- Despite a fast economic growth China registered during the past years, economists projected the country to experience a lower pace of growth over the next few years.
The coming slowdown will be a normal outcome as the continuous global downturn hurts China's exports while the country striving to adjust its development pattern to wean the economy off its reliance on exports, said Li Yang, vice president of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a government think tank.
The two trends will continue in the coming years and weigh on exports, one of the three major engines that power China's fast expansion -- exports, investment and consumption, Li said Saturday at a forum held by Caixin Media, a business news group in China.
He said the country's annual average growth rate is likely to slow to between 8 and 8.5 percent in the coming 10 years, while expecting the country's annual trade surplus to account for less than 2 percent of its GDP this year.
Liu Shijin, deputy director of the Development Research Center of the State Council, also believed China will head towards a lower growth rate over the next few years, saying the slowdown "is nothing but a good thing," which marked the end of industrialization phase.
China will post an annual growth of above 9 percent this year and should be able to maintain growth of around 8.5 percent next year, Liu said.
Stabilizing economic growth should remain a major target for the government in the coming years, he said.
He warned some risks that were previously accommodated by high growth but could be unleashed when growth cooled. These risks included local government debts, property price fluctuation, and massive losses that might appear in industries that had excess production capacity.
China's GDP expanded 10.4 percent year-on-year in 2010. Its GDP growth slowed to 9.1 percent in the third quarter of this year from 9.5 percent in the second quarter and 9.7 percent in the first quarter.