China's economy will likely pick up in the fourth quarter after faster-than-expected expansion in the third quarter, and play a key role in driving global economic development, officials and experts said against the backdrop of a key regional meeting.
Despite facing a more complicated external environment and mounting uncertainties, China will maintain its role as a key engine of regional and global growth, given its ultra-large domestic market, a complete industrial system and abundant human resources, experts said.
Finance Minister Lan Fo'an said China's economy has gained a firm footing so far this year, especially since the third quarter, with positive factors adding up and endogenous momentum enhanced. He estimated that China's economy will maintain a positive trend in the fourth quarter, and the country will remain a crucial engine of stable growth of global economy.
Lan made the remarks during the 30th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Finance Ministers' Meeting, held on Sunday and Monday in San Francisco.
He said global economic recovery remains shaky, with the momentum being weakened by several factors, while trade and investment remain sluggish.
He called for strengthened coordination on macroeconomic policies among all the parties concerned, advancement of trade and investment liberalization, and the building of more integrated regional industrial and supply chains for the open development of the Asia-Pacific as well as the global economy.
Saying supply-side structural reform is crucial to achieving high-quality development, Lan stressed China will support Asia-Pacific economies in deepening supply-side reforms, accelerating modernization and providing new impetus to global common development.
Guo Guannan, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Macroeconomic Research, said the latest economic indicators point to a continued recovery trend, showcasing the strong resilience and great potential of China's economy.
China's GDP growth clocked 5.2 percent year-on-year in the first three quarters, with the International Monetary Fund forecasting a full-year growth of 5.4 percent, a revision from its previous forecast of 5 percent, thanks to rebounding domestic demand.
British think tank Oxford Economics said it expects China's fourth-quarter GDP to expand by 1.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted quarter-on-quarter basis, resulting in an annual growth rate of 5.2 percent, a revision of its previous forecast of 5.1 percent, given the third quarter's modest out-performance.
Zou Yunhan, a researcher at the State Information Center, said China is projected to contribute around 30 percent of global economic growth this year, highlighting its role as an anchor as the world's second-largest economy.
Looking ahead, Zou said the country has a solid foundation and conditions to achieve sustained growth with the support of its huge domestic market, a complete industrial system, sufficient human resources and abundant data resources.
"China's middle-income group is estimated to surpass 800 million in the next 15 years, which will drive the continuous development of China's ultra-large domestic market," he said, adding the huge market is conducive to forming industrial clusters, and providing sufficient development space for different technological innovation paths and business innovation models.