By Joy Wang
BEIJING, Dec. 28 (Xinhuanet) -- China can fulfill most of its commerce growth targets this year and will accelerate reforms in 2014 to strengthen overall competitiveness, Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng said yesterday.
Retail sales are expected to rise more than 13 percent this year to 23.8 trillion yuan (US$3.9 trillion). Inbound foreign direct investment may expand 5 percent to US$117 billion while outbound direct investment may jump 15 percent to US$88 billion. If achieved, the three figures would meet the targets set for this year.
But trade may miss the goal by a small margin. It is expected that trade will rise 7 percent, compared with the target of 8 percent.
At a conference to summarize this year’s work and plan for next year, Gao said China has managed stable commerce growth in 2013.
Externally, China made a breakthrough by signing free trade agreements with Switzerland and Iceland and pushed forward the World Trade Organization’s Doha round of negotiations.
At the same time, domestic consumption expanded steadily, playing a bigger role in the country’s economy.
Reform will remain a top priority for the ministry next year, Gao said.
“China will deepen reforms in the domestic commerce system to facilitate economic restructuring, improve market order and reduce barriers for the circulation of goods,” Gao said.
“Externally, China will try to nurture new drivers for trade,” Gao added.
(Source: Shanghai Daily)