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Cool head needed for healthy growth

By LIU SHINAN Express commentator

Top leaders of China gathered late last month in Beijing to discuss the nation's economic situation and public hygiene system.
The 25-member Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China urged the nation to keep a cool head over the unexpectedly good situation in national economic growth in the first half of the year despite the impact of the Iraq War and the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic.
It is reassuring that top decision-makers are staying cool-headed themselves. Instead of being intoxicated with victory over the SARS epidemic and indulging in high-sounding talks about GDP (gross domestic product) growth, they have called for serious attention and solutions to prominent problems in economic and social development.
In the official report of the meeting, one sentence is well worth pondering: (China) should not only keep the momentum of fast economic growth, but should also, with even greater emphasis, improve the quality and efficiency of this growth.
What do quality and efficiency mean here? As this writer understands it, they refer to the real, substantive benefits brought to the national economy by the high growth rate of GDP.
GDP has been regarded as the main index mirroring the development level of the economy. Local regions ranging from provinces to townships also calculate their own GDP growth. The concept, however, has been so abused in many places that it has been taken as the only indication of economic development. Many government officials take it as the major achievement of their political careers.
As investment is one of the three major factors contributing to the calculation of GDP and investment in new projects is taken into account, many local leading officials use their power to arbitrarily launch unnecessary construction projects.
Some of the projects are extravagant in size and function but of little use to the improvement of the employment and livelihood of common people. They call these kinds of projects image projects.
Some projects ended up unfinished and were jeered as rotten tail projects.
Rotten or not, they are incorporated into GDP and hence the achievements of officials. In fact, neither the local economy nor the common people have benefited from such kind of GDP growth.
The emphasis put by the Political Bureau on the quality and efficiency of economic growth is wise, for it hit the core of the problems which afflicted China's economic development in recent years.
GDP has maintained a high growth rate in the past few years but domestic consumption -- the most dynamic force propelling the growth -- has been weak. The reason is that a fairly large part of the population has not benefited enough from the economic growth to increase consumption. And the grim employment situation aggravated the insufficiency of consumption.
That is why the Political Bureau vowed at the meeting to put the work of increasing employment rate in an even prominent position. This is a substantive move the ruling party has taken to represent the fundamental interests of the Chinese people in the broadest sense.
And the decision at the same meeting to improve the nation's public hygiene system is even more convincing evidence that the new leading group takes to their hearts the interests of the common people.

Forum to promote exchanges of views

By GUAN ZIQI Express staff

The International Investment (Fund) Manager Forum, a sideline of the 7th China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT), is scheduled from September 8 to 11 in Xiamen.
Designed and sponsored by the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Co-operation Ministry of Commerce and the Asian Investment Association of Canada, the forum is expected to promote participation of the international capital market's giants in Chinese investment market's operation, the communication and co-operation between international and internal investment (fund) managers, the development of China's investment market, and direct talks and co-operation between capital market and domestic corporations, according to Qin Lin, vice-director of the forum's organizing group and general secretary of the China Investment (Fund) Manager Association.
"It can be an important attempt to integrate the capital and investment markets at the beginning of an era of globalization,'' she said.
China mainland has become international investors' first choice since the 9.11 event, when a large amount of global capital has withdrawn from the US and veers toward Asian regions. Therefore, both capital and investment markets are now sharing the same desire for professional investment organizations, she said.
Facing foreign capital market's systematic as well as large-scale conjunction and integration with the investment markets, China is now in an initial stage to combine with investment banks and non-securities investment funds, the leading powers of the capital market.
Partners of investment banks and investment funds, and investment (fund) managers will be the main authorities to decide not only the capital market's present situation but also its future trend. They also directly connect the two markets, Qin added.
Besides, the forum participants will also discuss matters about hedge funds, which are likely to "influence the direction of the flow of global capital.''
Another two fairs, Property Assets Investment Discussion Fair and Medicine Industry Investment Discussion Fair, will also be held "on market demand'' by the same sponsor.
Every year at the CIFIT there are 30 such forums and symposiums with different topics and sponsors. However, the only one that has been held annually is CIFIT's main forum, International Investment Forum (IIF).
According to CIFIT's official website, IIF is a world level economic forum of international influence, as well as the most authoritative international investment strategy forum in the Asia-Pacific region.
The topic for the 7th IIF will be "Perfecting Investment Environment, Creating International Competitive Advantage"


Ministers and provicial governors will voice their views on economic and trade issues at a forum, a sideline of the 7th China International Fair for Investment and Trade.



The 7th China International Fair for Investment and Trade will be held from September 8 to 11 in Xiamen. In order to better serve the participants, the organizing committee will recruit 150 voluntary translators for languages such as English, Japanese, Korean, Russian, German, Spanish, French and Arabic. The translators will serve from September 6 to 12. The work has been consigned to the Xiamen Master Translation Service.
The prospective translators, aged 20-65, are required to have undergraduate diplomas or higher degrees, proficiency in spoken languages and strong sense of responsibility.
Those who are willing to take the job could register through the web site WWW.XMMASTER.COM, or fax or e-mail their resumes, diploma certificates, copies of identity cards and contact ways to Xiamen Master Translation.




The world's main stock exchange forum will be held in the international auditorium of the exhibition centre in Xiamen, East China's Fujian Province on September 7.
The forum sponsored and organized by China (Xiamen) International Investment Promotion Centre, ?MDNM¡¥<Securities Business Weekly> and Power Capital Co, Ltd, aims to introduce the procedures and regulations of market financing.
Many people will attend the meeting, including professors from China Securities Regulatory Commission and China Securities Association, principals from America NASDAQ Stock Exchange, Canada Stock Exchange, and world famous experts of international investment banks.

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