29 Mar 2009

China's central bank governor urges financial reforms

3:25 pm on 29 March 2009

China is uncertain whether its economic slowdown has ended and its central bank governor is urging more financial reforms in the face of the worldwide slump.

Zhou Xiaochuan says he expects the G20 summit of leading industrialized and developing nations to discuss finance and regulatory measures, including those involving development banks, when they meet in London next week.

China is facing a challenge to its economy as demand slows in the United States and Europe amid the global crisis.

Exports have dropped from year-ago levels in the last four consecutive months, including a 25.7% drop in February.

China is targeting gross domestic product growth of 8% this year and is spending $US585 billion on a two-year stimulus package in order to maintain high economic growth.

The World Bank on March 18 lowered its forecast for China's 2009 economic growth to 6.5% from the November estimate of 7.5%, warning Beijing it would be thwarting its own medium-term goals if it tried to offset the slowdown by further boosting investment.