Jim O’Neill (right), British Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, attends the 48 Group Chinese New Year Gala Dinner that is held at the Dorchester Hotel in London, Jan 25, 2016.[Photo provided to China Daily]
China is definitely on track in terms of its real GDP growth, said Jim O’Neill, British Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, who is also famous for the creation of the “BRICS” acronym, grouping together Brazil, Russia, India and China as potential growth powerhouses of the future.
“China so far is growing more than I had assumed. If China grows by only 6.5 percent for the rest of the decade, it means it grew by 7.5 percent for the decade as a whole,” said O’Neill at the 48 Group Chinese New Year Gala Dinner that was held at the Dorchester Hotel in London on Jan 25.
The former Goldman Sachs chief economist is pleased that China is giving more importance to supply-side reforms.
“It seems to us that the supply-side structural reforms on many sectors is something that China needs to do and it is really encouraging that the government is talking about this as the way it is and I hope it will continue to adjust in a way that the latest data shows it is adjusting,” said O’Neill.
“The reforms will be helpful for China-UK trade relations, and will be in the interest of Britain,” said O’Neill.
President Xi paid a state visit to the UK last October, achieved landmark results and opened the “Golden Era” for relations between China and the UK.
To put China’s new normal into perspective, China’s 6.9 percent growth, at the volume of 10 trillion pound, is the equivalent to India growing by 35 percent or the United Kingdom growing by nearly 22 percent, so 6.9 percent is the envy of any developed country，according to O’Neill.
Liu Xiaoming, China’s ambassador to Britain, also attended the gala dinner and delivered a speech.
Liu said he is full of expectations for the new year, especially for China’s development and enhanced China-UK relations.
“I have high expectations for continuous development in China in the new year. 2016 marks the beginning of China’s 13th Five Year Plan that will help put China’s growth on a more solid foundation and create opportunities for sustainable growth in the long run,” said Liu.
Liu acknowledged that China is now at a crucial stage of economic shift and upgrading.
“China’s economy is entering a phase of what we call the “new normal” - with moderate growth but improved economic structure,” he said.