Chinese President Hu Jintao warned at a weekend meeting of the Communist Party’s elite Politburo that China is losing its competitive edge as international demand for its products is reduced, according to official state media reports Sunday.
China’s growth rate has been forecast to be about 9 percent in 2008, down from 11.9 percent the year before and close to the 8 percent that economists say China must maintain in order to keep the labor market stable.
“China is under growing tension from its large population, limited resources and environment problems, and needs faster reform of its economic growth pattern to achieve sustainable development,” Hu said, according to the People’s Daily newspaper, the official Communist Party newspaper. He did not provide specifics.
Washington Post Foreign Service
Hu Jintao by Reuters
“External demand has obviously weakened and China’s traditional competitive advantage is being gradually weakened,” as international demand is reduced, Hu told members of the Political Bureau of the party’s Central Committee, according to the state-run New China News Agency.
Protectionism has also started to increase in investment and trade, Hu added. China’s export growth in October was 19.2 percent, down from 21.5 percent in September.