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Chinese premier stresses scientific innovation, sustainable growth

TIANJIN, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Monday stressed the importance of scientific innovation in the process of shifting from "made in China" to "created in China".

Wen met with entrepreneurs and answered their questions on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2010, or the Summer Davos, being held in north China's port city of Tianjin.

Wen said transforming the economic growth mode through developing Chinese creation and service was a key issue if the Chinese economy was to keep a balanced, coordinated and sustainable growth.

The premier said China would make great efforts to develop science and education, transform traditional industries through high-tech and give priority to the development of emerging industries such as energy saving, environmental protection, information and advanced manufacturing.

He said the country would seriously tackle the problem of social equality and justice through measures of tax reforms and income distribution.

People should clearly realize that China is still a developing nation, he said, stressing that it was fully necessary to increase investment in sectors of food and construction, which would help improve people's lives in future.

Wen also asked people to realize that Chinese people's livelihood had been improved step by step.

Statistics showed that Chinese people's wage income grew 11.2 percent from 2007 to 2009, two percentage points higher than the GDP growth of that period.

Wen noted that in China, labor costs are largely low, and they need a reasonable rise. But for most of the Chinese employees, the top priority is to find a job, while wage level is the second major concern.

Therefore, the rise in wage should be kept at a reasonable level, so as to maintain the competitiveness of our industries, Wen said.

"Besides, we should understand that the rise in wage should be in line with the advance of labor productivity," he said.

When answering a question on emission reduction, Wen said that China's energy consumption per GDP was down 15.6 percent during the first four years of the country's eleventh Five-year Plan, while the target of the plan is a 20 percent reduction in the five year period.

However, achieving such a goal is not an easy task, according to Wen. China has set a target on the reducing high energy-consuming enterprises for the second half of this year, including small cement and steel projects.

Wen said he would report the result of China's efforts on energy conservation and emission reduction to the National People's Congress, the top legislature, in March next year, and thus to the whole world.

Wen also dismissed claims that China's investment environment has worsened.

"A rise in foreign direct investment in China has shown that foreign companies have not lost confidence in the country," he said.

"All foreign enterprises registered in China enjoy national treatment. China will give equal treatment to foreign-funded enterprises and Chinese enterprises alike on policies of indigenous innovation, government procurement and intellectual property protection," he said.

Wen also pledged to improve related regulations and laws and actively participate in negotiations on the Agreement on Government Procurement of the World Trade Organization.

Wen said the rise in China's energy demand is related to China's development stage.

"It took developed countries 200 to 300 years to realize industrialization while we just took dozens of years to finish the process. Secondly, our per capita energy consumption is only one fifth of that of America and a third of those of OECD countries," he said.

Wen said the country should attach great importance to energy saving and environment protection and it should become its unswerving policy.

"Industrial restructuring is the key to tackling China's rising energy demand. Only by developing energy-efficient, indigenous innovated and high value added products could our companies and economy achieve sustainable development," Wen said.

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