TIANJIN, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) believes China's economy is in the process of a soft landing and supports policy easing by the Chinese government to stabilize growth, IMF Deputy Managing Director Zhu Min said Tuesday.
"We think China's economy is in the stage of soft landing and the overall development is stable," Zhu told reporters at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of the New Champions, held in north China's Tianjin city.
Stabilizing growth is China's "top priority" and will greatly help the world economy, Zhu said at a panel discussion during the meeting, which is also known as the Summer Davos Forum.
"We support further easing of policy to stabilize growth in China, because it will play an important role for the world," Zhu said.
While praising the Chinese government for its efforts to maintain growth, Zhu said structural reforms should not be forgotten.
"It's not necessarily a bad thing for China's growth rate to fall to around 8 percent as China needs to restructure its economy, but it's also important to avoid further slowdown and to stabilize growth. It's the two sides of the balance," Zhu told reporters after the panel discussion.
Slowing property investment and flagging exports cooled China's economic growth to 7.6 percent in the second quarter, the slowest rate since the first quarter of 2009.
The government has reduced interest rates twice this year, cut taxes for small businesses, encouraged private businesses to invest in sectors previously closed to them and fast-tracked construction projects.
Last week, China's top economic planner approved 55 investment projects worth 1 trillion yuan (157.7 billion U.S. dollars) to build highways, ports and railways across the country.
By Sept. 4, a total of 1,610 delegates from 86 nations registered for the forum, the sixth of its kind held in China.
Themed "Creating the Future Economy", the three-day forum will feature interactive programs on issues including the euro crisis, China's future economy and global food security.