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IMF official predicts strong growth of Chinese economy (10/22/03)

David Robinson, deputy director of the Research Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) , said in Hong Kong on Oct.22 that he saw a strong growth of the Chinese economy and expressed the belief that the growth rate of China's gross domestic product (GDP) may witness a faster speed next year.

Speaking at a symposium titled "World Economy Outlook", David Robinson said the IMF predicted a 7.5 percent GDP growth in China in 2003, adding that the growth rate may possibly exceed the number in 2004.

Robinson told the press after the symposium that China's economic growth has changed the old global industrial structure map, adding that more foreign companies chose to establish ventures in China, more foreign investment rushed to China and more lower priced industrial products made in China entered the world market.

He said that the strong growth of Chinese economy also benefited other countries.

A latest report released by APEC( Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) last week indicated that China's foreign trade volume in the first half of this year reached 376.1 billion US dollars and its export rose 44.5 percent.

The report also indicated that China introduced 52.7 billion US dollars of direct foreign investment in 2002, up 12.5 percent over that of the previous year.

Answering a question about the Renminbi exchange rate, Robinson said it is not important for the appreciation of Renminbi, the important thing for China is to build up a flexible system that can encounter with any major financial shocks.

On the Hong Kong economy, he said that at the beginning of this year, the IMF predicted a 2.2 percent GDP growth in Hong Kong, but the IMF lowered the figure to 1.5 percent after SARS hit Hong Kong.

But he expressed belief that Hong Kong's economic growth rate this year would surely higher than the adjusted figure.

To allow more residents from major cities in Chinese mainland to visit Hong Kong individually has boosted the tourism industry in Hong Kong, the IMF official said.


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