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Financials

HIGHLIGHTS-China NPC targets 2016 GDP growth between 6.5 pct and 7 pct

BEIJING, March 5 (Reuters) - China’s parliament, the National People’s Congress, opened its annual session on Saturday.

Following are highlights from Premier Li Keqiang’s speech at the start of the meeting, as well as highlights from reports from the Ministry of Finance and the National Development and Reform Commission.

WORK REPORT FROM PREMIER LI KEQIANG

- To target 2016 GDP growth of between 6.5 percent and 7 pct.

- To target 2016 CPI around 3 pct.

- To target 2016 M2 growth target around 13 pct.

- Sees 2016 budget deficit at 3 pct of GDP.

- To use various monetary policy tools to maintain reasonable liquidity.

- To continue to implement prudent monetary policy.

- To continue to implement proactive fiscal policy.

- Will keep renminbi exchange rate basically stable in 2016.

- Will continue to improve yuan exchange rate regime in 2016.

- To deepen reform of financial sector.

- To further liberalise interest rates.

- To deepen reform of state owned commercial banks.

- To reform stock and bond markets.

- To promote sound development of multi-level capital market.

- To crack down on unlawful activities in the securities and future markets.

- To ensure no systemic or regional financial risks arise.

- To strengthen unified macroprudential management of foreign debt.

- To launch Shenzhen-Hong Kong stock connect pilot at appropriate time.

- To establish catastrophe insurance system.

- To develop internet finance.

- To develop inclusive and green finance.

- To insure proportion of direct financing is increased.

- To develop private banks.

- Sees growth in outstanding social financing of around 13 pct in 2016.

- To launch trial allowing commercial banks to participate in debt equity investment for small businesses.

- To establish standard financing mechanisms for local governments to issue debt.

- Says China to issue 400 billion yuan of special local government debt in 2016.

- To keep urban registered jobless rate below 4.5 pct in 2016.

- Will create 10 million new jobs in 2016.

- Will quicken supply-side structural reform.

- Will appropriately deal with zombie firms in 2016.

- To address issue of zombie firms using mergers, reorganizations, bankruptcies and debt restructurings.

- Will push ahead with reform of state-owned firms.

- Says will resolve overcapacity in industry, focus on steel and coal.

- Says 100 billion yuan in subsidies will be used primarily to resettle laid off employees.

- Says convinced Hong Kong, Macao will maintain long-term prosperity and stability.

- Says will oppose Taiwan independence separatist activities.

- Says will safeguard peace and stability in Taiwan Strait.

Quotes from Li’s speech:

“Innovation is the primary driving force for development and must occupy a central place in China’s development strategy.”

“We must make consistent efforts to encourage the public to start businesses and make innovations.”

“We should strive to achieve major breakthroughs in basic research, applied research, and research in strategic and frontier fields by 2020.”

“We should also expand major infrastructure projects, with the aim of increasing the length of high-speed railways in service to 30,000 kilometres and linking more than 80 percent of big cities in China with high-speed railways, building or upgrading around 30,000 kilometres of expressways, and achieving full coverage of access to broadband networks in both urban and rural areas.”

“Over the next five years, we should aim to ensure that water consumption, energy consumption, and carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP are cut by 23 percent, 15 percent, and 18 percent, respectively, and that forest coverage reaches 23.04 percent.”

“We will promote greater user of Chinese equipment, technology, standards, and services in the international market, and help Chinese manufacturing brands gain international recognition.”

“We wish to actively negotiate and sign the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement. We will help speed up negotiations on the establishment of the China-Japan-ROK free trade zone. We will work to make progress in negotiations on investment agreements between China and the United States and between China and the European Union.”

REPORT FROM NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND REFORM COMMISSION

- Says 2016 retail sales of consumer goods expected to grow 11 pct.

- Says 2016 fixed asset investment expected to rise around 10.5 pct.

- Says 2016 non-financial outward direct investment to reach $130 billion, up 10 pct.

- Says 2016 non-financial foreign direct investment in China to reach $128 billion.

- Says 2016 carbon intensity to be cut 3.9 pct.

- Says will keep total energy consumption under control in 2016.

- Says will work to lift price controls in power, oil and natural gas.

- Says will improve the pricing mechanism for refined oil products.

- Says will increase support to help turn around steel and coal sectors.

- Says to control expansion of coal production and coal power generation capacity.

REPORT FROM FINANCE MINISTRY

- China budgets 2016 national fiscal deficit at 2.18 trillion yuan.

- China budgets 2016 national fiscal revenue up 3 pct.

- China budgets 2016 national fiscal spending up 6.7 pct.

- China 2016 military budget to rise 7.6 pct.

- China says will enhance management of local government debt. (Reporting by Jake Spring, Kevin Yao, Sue-Lin Wong, Judy Hua, Xiaoyi Shao, Kathy Chen, Adam Rose, Niu Shuping and Michael Martina; Editing by Eric Meijer)

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