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American economist says China can achieve 5% growth goal



China's objective this year of achieving 5 percent economic growth - outlined at the country's recent Two Sessions - is entirely realistic, says a leading American economist. That's due to China's role as the world's low-cost supplier of core EV infrastructure.

Jeffrey Sachs, a renowned public policy analyst and professor at Columbia University, told CGTN Europe the biggest problem the country's economy faces is the "vulgar" anti-Chinese protectionist policies which he believes are being pursued by the U.S. and Europe.

"The objective of 5 percent growth is realistic," he said. "Clearly China's productivity, technological advance and innovation is proceeding rapidly. China is the low-cost producer of most of the advanced clean, green digital technologies that the world wants. So on the supply side, the Chinese economy is in very good shape."

Chinese consumer confidence remains high. /CFP
Chinese consumer confidence remains high. /CFP

Chinese consumer confidence remains high. /CFP

Sachs said China's main difficulties come on the demand side: "The obstacles have come from the United States principally, and Europe, which are trying to block China's growth in a pretty vulgar and explicit way, putting up protectionist barriers, claiming that China's competitiveness is somehow illegitimate. That has reduced total demand in China."

Known for his work on sustainable economic development, Sachs is an Sustainable Development Goals Advocate for UN Secretary-General António Guterres. Sachs said China's role as "the world leader in electric vehicles, low cost photovoltaics, wind turbines, fast rail, and 5G - now 5.5G - technology" gives it huge reasons for optimism.

"Across all of these technologies, China is advancing and it is really the low-cost world supplier of this core infrastructure for the next 10, 20, 30 years of the world economy," he said.

He added: "Europe is resisting and saying, 'Oh, we can't take all those electric vehicles'. The United States is turning protectionist. But the developing world is saying 'We need you, China, we need you as a partner.'"


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At Two Sessions, China announced it will look to achieve its growth targets by promoting 'new quality productivity forces' that go beyond traditional economic forms of growth, along with opening up more sectors to foreign investment. 

Sachs says American companies are welcoming China's 'open for business' pivot. He said: "U.S. companies do a lot of very profitable business with China. They gave President Xi Jinping a standing ovation when he came to San Francisco for APEC and met with the business leaders. So American business is not in line with the American government, which is taking an aggressive and antagonistic view towards China."

American economist says China can achieve 5% growth goal

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