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Structural reform most critical to correct distortions: Finance Minister

Updated: 2016-02-27 20:14
By Zheng Yangpeng in Shanghai (chinadaily.com.cn)

Monetary policy should aim towards alleviating the downward pressure, while fiscal policy should best be "expansionary", Finance Minister Lou Jiwei said at a press conference marking the end of the G20 meeting on Saturday.

"Monetary policy could be biased toward easing, but it cannot replace the role of fiscal policy. Fiscal policy should best be expansionary," Lou said.

But both cannot replace the critical role of structural reform, he said. Structural reform has brought the largest dividends for China, said the finance minister.

"China historically has the largest distortion, so structural reform to correct these distortions has brought the largest benefits," Lou said.

These distortions, according to him, include onerous administrative approval businesses, and prices that are not determined by markets. He said China in the past two or three years has adopted vast measures to tackles these distortions, including pricing reform, encouraging innovation by targeted tax breaks, as well as encouraging greater internal migration.

According to him, China's consumption rate, or consumption as a ratio of GDP, has risen to 66 percent in 2015, while services have taken up 55 percent of GDP, and the investment rate has declined significantly.

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