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Sunday, 30 November 2008

China losing competitive edge

BEIJING - PRESIDENT Hu Jintao has warned China's economy is losing its competitive edge amid the ongoing global financial crisis, state media reported on Sunday.

Mr Hu made the downbeat remarks on Saturday at a meeting of the Communist Party's elite Political Bureau, according to party mouthpiece the People's Daily.

'There is a clear slowdown in global economic growth, with a marked weakening in external demand, and China is losing its competitive advantages,' he was quoted as saying.

'Global competition is intensifying and the pressure from protectionism is increasing.'

In October, China's export growth slowed to 19.2 per cent from 21.5 per cent in September.

'The global financial crisis continues to expand, and the external conditions facing our economy are getting more complex,' Mr Hu said, according to the paper.

'The impact of the global financial crisis on the Chinese economy continues to deepen.'

China's economy, the world's fourth-largest, expanded by 9.0 per cent in the third quarter, the lowest level in more than five years.

The World Bank said last week it expected the Chinese economy to grow by 9.2 per cent in 2008 before hitting a 19-year low of 7.5 per cent in 2009. -- AFP

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