(Xinhua)BEIJING -- China still has great economic development potential in many industries and can beat the growth target of around 7 percent this year, Justin Yifu Lin, former chief economist and senior vice president of the World Bank, said Friday.
"The Chinese economy has the potential to grow around 8 percent for about 20 years," Lin said at a press conference on the sidelines of the Third Session of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the country's top political advisory body.
China lowers its economic growth target to around 7 percent in 2015, but aims to achieve better-quality growth, as the government is endeavoring to maintain a proper balance between ensuring steady growth and making structural adjustments, Premier Li Keqiang said Thursday.
"There will be a discrepancy between a nation's growth potential and actual growth rate," Lin told reporters, adding that both developed and developing countries have to rely on technology innovation and industrial upgrading to improve productivity.
China can tap into the growth potential in sectors like equipment manufacturing, e-commerce, Internet finance, new energy and environmental protection, he said.
The growth potential of Chinese economy will be impacted by situations both at home and abroad, and China's exports, an engine of economic growth, are easing pace in recent years, so it is understandable that China's economic growth rates fell below 8 percent, he said.
In the 35 years between 1978 and 2013, growth of the Chinese economy averaged close to 10 percent. However, the "good old days" had to end, with growth decelerating to 7.7 percent in 2012 and 2013.
"If we can deliver a good job, China's economic growth rate this year can be higher than 7 percent," Lin said.