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Nobel Laureate praises China's 12th Five-Year Plan

English.news.cn   2011-03-20 19:59:26 FeedbackPrintRSS

Joseph Stiglitz, a professor at Columbia University and also the Nobel Laureate in Economics, gives a speech at the China Development Forum 2011 in Beijing, capital of China, March 20, 2011. (Photo: Xinhuanet/Xiong Tong)

By Xiong Tong and Yang Lina

BEIJING, March 20 (Xinhuanet) -- China's new 12th Five-Year Plan has won praises at the China Development Forum here Sunday. 

Speaking to Xinhuanet on the sideline of the forum, Nobel Economics Laureate Joseph Stiglitz stressed the plan is "a framework that will move China in the right direction." 

He said the plan is ambitious and is one of the most important events in China's economic development as it "puts well-being and livelihood at the center and moves from GDP to household citizens." 

Stiglitz also said, the plan is part of China's important economic strategy, as China has recognized that "it could no longer rely on export-oriented growth", and the "basis of growth for the last 30 years is coming to a limit." 

He thought that in the coming five years, the basis of growth in China will be included in domestic consumption, investment and government spending on health and education. 

Stiglitz pointed out that GDP is not a good measure of the living standard of the citizens and better indicators are needed. 

In this aspect, he said, the income that the individuals have is a better indicator to reflect their real social well-beings. 

Explaining why GDP usually overestimates what people have to spend, to consume, and to maintain the livelihood, he pointed out, in the U.S. while its GDP is going up, the vast majority of people however have their income go down.  

"As all the money goes to the people at the top, 1 percent in the United States now gets 25 percents of all the income," he said, "so the majority of people's income is actually falling." 

Apart from the GDP growth, sustainability is also important to Stiglitz. Taking the U.S. as an example, he said, "America's growth was strong, but was not sustainable. It was all based on debt."

He warned an unsustainable growth might lead to a crisis, saying "If you have unsustainable growth, it won't be sustained. And then you have a crisis." 

The 12th China Development Forum, sponsored by the Development Research Center of the State Council, runs from Sunday till Monday and will address a wide range of topics centered on the ongoing transformation of China's growth pattern.

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Editor: Mo Hong'e
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