China aims to grow economy by 6.5% annually for next 5 years, create 50m jobs: Premier Li

People at a job fair in Yiwu, China, on Feb 26.
People at a job fair in Yiwu, China, on Feb 26. PHOTO: AFP

China will aim to grow its economy by at least 6.5 per cent annually for the next five years, it announced on Saturday (March 5).

It also targets to create more than 50 million urban jobs, and have urban residents make up 60 per cent of China's population by 2020.

Premier Li Keqiang made these announcements at the opening of China's parliamentary session, as he unveiled the key targets of the country's 13th Five-Year Plan.

The plan is a guide for economic and social progress until 2020, by which time China hopes to have built a "moderately prosperous society".

Analysts have said that 6.5 per cent is the minimum rate of growth needed for China to meet its goal of doubling its 2010 gross domestic product (GDP) and per capita income by 2020.

Mr Li said China will also push innovation and protect the environment for the next five years. He said the contribution of scientific and technological advances towards economic growth should hit 60 per cent.

To that these goals, he told Chinese lawmakers that China will give "top priority" to development and carry out structural reform, particularly on the supply side.

Stressing that the key lies in better harnessing the potential of the Chinese people, Mr Li said: "We just have to get through this process, and we can, without question, reinvigorate the economy and ensure its dynamic growth."