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Friday, November 13, 2009

China to emphasise economic restructuring in 2010

China will place more emphasis on improving the quality and structure of the economy next year as growth becomes less of a worry, a central bank vice-governor said on Friday.

Beijing has propped up growth by frontloading a massive fiscal stimulus package and encouraging easy credit, but many economists are concerned that it could be exacerbating an over-reliance on investment and heavy industry in the process.

"During the V-shaped economic rebound, restructuring is still a major challenge," Zhu Min, recently appointed to his post at the People's Bank of China, told reporters. "We will focus on the structure and quality of growth next year."

Zhu declined to say how that would affect monetary or foreign exchange policy.

His comments come amid growing signs that the world's third-largest economy has put the worst of the global financial crisis firmly behind it.

Annual factory output growth surged to a 19-month high of 16.2 percent in October, and while exports were still down in year-on-year terms, economists pointed to the likelihood that they would start growing again soon.

The authorities have pointed to a growing effort to do away with overcapacity in industries ranging from steel to cement.

In the latest such initiative, the Ministry of Environmental Protection said on Friday that it would launch a two-year clampdown on investment projects that flouted environmental rules, as part of efforts to curb wasteful investment.

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