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China must accelerate reforms, not rely on fiscal and monetary policy to drive growth: World Bank

BEIJING (Reuters) – China needs to accelerate reforms and not rely solely on monetary and fiscal policy to drive growth, a top World Bank official said on Tuesday.

“I would recommend not really relying more on their macro policy, specifically on the monetary and fiscal side, because it’s been done before, especially post the global financial crisis,” Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati told Reuters in an interview in Beijing.

“It is now time for really deepening and doing the reforms in a much faster way.”

Indrawati made the comments when asked whether China was reforming fast enough, given that the country posted its weakest economic growth rate in the third quarter since the 2008/09 global financial crisis.

China should be able to maintain high growth by turning to domestic economic drivers, Indrawati said.

The bank is forecasting 6 percent growth in the medium-to-long term, she said, although the country must swap external demand and investment for growth through consumption, innovation and productivity gains.

Indrawati made the remarks in the run-up to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference of finance ministers held in Beijing on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Following the weak third-quarter data, China risks missing its official annual growth target for the first time in 15 years, adding to concerns that it is becoming a drag on global growth.

Analysts expect Beijing to roll out further stimulus in coming months, following a series of measures earlier in the year to shore up growth.

(Reporting by Jake Spring; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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