Chinese president Hu Jintao told a gathering of business leaders from Asia-Pacific that China would take 'vigorous' steps to step up household spending and reduce a dependence on investment and exports for economic growth.
He said that China's focus was on countering the crisis to spur domestic demand, especially consumer demand. He said in Singapore on Friday while attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation group summit that China wants to increase the spending capacity of the people.
US officials including treasury secretary Timothy Geithner are urging China to raise the share of consumption in the country's gross domestic product to boost demand for imported goods and avoid investment-driven asset bubbles. China's 4 trillion yuan economic stimulus programme is mainly investment driven including the building of roads, airports and railways.
For the first nine months of 2009, China's economy grew 7.7 per cent with consumption including household spending contributing 4 percentage points of the total investment adding 7.3 percentage points. A decline in net exports of goods and services sloughed off 3.6 points according a report by China's statistics bureau dated 22 October.
China's blueprint for development over the next few years is articulated in the country's next five-year plan running from 2011-2015.
China has a three-year,850-billion yuan plan to expand health-care coverage which will amount to less than $100 for each of China's 1.3 billion people.
Hu said the government has 'made intensified efforts to improve the social safety net and substantially raised social security benefits.'