Archive for the ‘optimism’ Category

Chinese leader offers cautious optimism

January 28, 2009

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao brought cautious optimism to business and government leaders pondering the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression as the World Economic Forum opened Wednesday.

Wen said China, a key market for companies in developed countries, believed it would be able to meet its target of 8 percent economic growth for 2009.

But, he conceded, it is “a tall order.”

“China remains on the track of steady and fast development,” he said but added that in the fourth quarter, growth slowed to 6.8 percent.

Eight percent would be phenomenal in many countries, but would still represent retrenchment for China, where growth in 2008 hit a seven-year low of 9 percent. That broke a five-year streak of double-digit expansion.

Wen spoke to the gathering of 2,500 political, business and other leaders in the Swiss Alps after an opening day of debate over state-led bailouts and worries that efforts to counter climate change would fall by the wayside.

The annual meeting of politicians, well-heeled business leaders and well-meaning activists and celebrities gathered under a pall of gloom that has seen personal fortunes trimmed, companies shuttered and hundreds of thousands jobs lost.

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A Chinese customer shows off a handfull of hundred-yuan notes ...