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Official: China’s Economy to Grow

November 10, 2002

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BEIJING (AP) _ China’s economy will grow by 8 percent this year, while trade and foreign investment are expected to hit record levels, a senior official said Sunday.

Total economic output is expected to surpass $1.2 trillion, said Zeng Peiyan, minister of the State Development Planning Commission.

Zeng’s forecast for economic expansion of 8 percent would be an upturn in growth from last year’s rate of 7.3 percent.

Chinese economic planners have cited 8 percent as the minimum growth required to create jobs for the tens of millions of people laid off in the restructuring of state industry.

Total trade this year should reach $600 billion, while foreign investment in China surpasses $50 billion, Zeng said at a news conference held during the congress of the ruling Communist Party.

President Jiang Zemin said in a speech Friday to congress delegates that by the end of 2020, China aims to quadruple the size of its economic output from 2000 levels.

China’s economic growth has averaged 9.3 percent a year since 1989, Zeng said.

``The past 13 years have been the best period in history for China’s development,″ he said.

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