|Chinese Premier underscores fast, steady economic development(07/07/08)|
BEIJING, July 6 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has said the country will step up efforts to keep economic development fast and steady despite challenges from home and abroad this year.
Wen made the remarks during a three-day research trip to the eastern Jiangsu Province and Shanghai from Friday to Sunday, where he met with local officials, farmers and entrepreneurs.
He said the country's economy was developing in the expected direction after overcoming challenges from within and without.
Wen urged governments at all levels to further improve macroeconomic controls and optimize economic structure to avoid serious fluctuations in the country's economy.
Fighting inflation was still one of the major tasks, he said, and governments should try to make price increases "acceptable" for both industries and the public.
Wen also called for more efforts to protect arable land to ensure grain security and more efforts to create jobs for low-income families and college graduates.
He asked Jiangsu to coordinate development of the relatively backward northern part and the prosperous southern part of the province.
He asked Shanghai to boost growth of the service industry, with the focus on building an international financial center and an international shipping center.