China's GDP to Top 10 Trillion Yuan in 2002  

China's gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to top 10 trillion yuan (1.21 trillion US dollars) in 2002, according to an official estimate released Saturday. The Economic Forecast Department of the State Information Center (SIC) predicted a GDP growth of 7.9 percent over last year to 10.217 trillion yuan (1.235 trillion US dollars) this year.
Growth in China's gross domestic product (GDP) is predicted to surge to a year-on-year 8 per cent in 2002, bolstered mainly by a vigorous private investment binge and robust household consumption in cars and housing.

The Economic Forecast Department of the State Information Centre (SIC) said Sunday that GDP is set to reach 10.217 trillion yuan (US$1.235 trillion) this year.

The SIC added that per-capita GDP in China should reach US$961 this year, an increase of US$50 over last year.

But what has cheered Chinese the most is not the strong economy, which has been steaming ahead for a few years now. Rather, experts and officials are delighted by the fact that the growth has been mostly because of a rapid expansion in private capital, a new economic engine to be reckoned with.

"A new phase is dawning. The economy is now powered concurrently by governmental policy and market vitality,'' said Qiu Xiaohua, deputy director of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Qiu added this is an improvement from growth in past years, which was mainly a result of the State's massive investment stimulus plans using Treasury bonds and other methods.

Official data from the NBS indicates that private investment rose at an 18-per-cent clip in the first 10 months of this year, double the pace of the same period last year.

And the total sum of private funds is rapidly closing the gap with that of State investment in the period, although the NBS did not reveal the exact figures.

Experts say booming private investment will usher China into a new era of development in the coming years, but that it will not be the only driving force.

Robust growth in the nation's consumption is also expected to buoy China's economy. Leading the wave are purchasing crazes in telecommunications, automobiles and housing products.

Auto sales in the past 10 months chalked up a staggering increase of 50 per cent year-on-year. And 70 per cent of the purchasing was done by household consumers. Sales of household electronic appliances like mobile phones, desk-top computers, TV sets and DVD players posted a 62 per cent rise in the first three quarters.

Moreover, some economists say China's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) late last year also gave the economy a strong boost.

They say WTO entry has not only benefited China by promoting the nation's economic growth this year, but more importantly, it has accelerated economic restructuring.

Zhang Liqun, an economist from the State Council Development Research Centre, predicted that starting from this year, China will jump onto a platform where 8 per cent annual GDP growth is within reach.

A new vital force will be injected into the economy, Zhang said, if the nation forges ahead and restructures State-assets management, encourages private investment and eradicates policies that are adverse to consumption.

China has set a target of quadrupling its GDP from 2000 to 2020.

According to the State Development Planning Commission, the GDP will top 35 trillion US dollars in 2020, a per capita GDP of 3,000 US dollars.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China is likely to become the third largest economy in the world by 2020 and the second largest in 2050.

Original source: People's Daily
Submit by CEIN  News on 09.12.2002