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What to expect from China's "two sessions"

Time:2016-03-01 12:40:37 Source: Xinhua China Youth International

   Almost no one eats there any more and it's not making any money: the last remaining noodle bar outside Yunfeng steel plant cannot be long for this world. It seems destined to the same way as other small shops in the same area that have already shut.

  "The steel plant is running at a loss. Some contracted laborers have been laid off," said the eatery owner. The Yunfeng works in north China's Hebei Province has cut its labor force from from 1,800 in its prime years to about 800.

  Yunfeng's home city of Wu'an, 400 km south of Beijing, once had 18 iron and steel plants. Many have slashed production, to survive the bitter winter of the industry; some have closed their doors for good.

  Hebei, the country's leading iron and steel producer, is struggling to cut capacity in iron and steel, cement, and glass, planning to cut iron and steel capacity by 18 million tonnes this year.


  Last year, policymakers came up with supply-side structural reform as the latest magic bullet to deal with a number of industrial ills by cutting overcapacity, destocking, deleveraging, reducing costs and identifying growth areas.

  Supply-side structural reform will be a key word at this year's "two sessions" -- the annual gatherings of the national legislative and political advisory bodies, analysts predict.

  China's growth prospects this year are the subject of global concern.

  "I believe China will realize 6.5 percent or better GDP growth in 2016, a difficult feat, given the unstable global economy," said Shlomo Maital, professor with Technion -- Israel Institute of Technology.

  China saw a record number of startups in 2015, with 4.44 million companies established, up 21.6 percent from 2014.

  "Today, China too is in a startup boom. China, like Israel, can become a startup nation," said Maital. "Part of the Chinese dream can be a dream about starting your own business."

  According to Maital, to avoid the middle-income trap, China will need to raise its "total factor productivity", which demands innovation, working smart, new ideas and improvements, not more use of resources.

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