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Premier Urges Officials to Boost Pork Production

by 5m Editor
24 October 2011, at 11:53am

CHINA - Premier Wen has urged officials to boost pork production by ensuring that incentives reach pig breeders and feed prices are kept stable during the coming winter months.

China will make job creation a more urgent priority in the face of slowed economic growth and weakened exports, Premier Wen Jiabao said in comments published yesterday, 23 October, also warning that efforts to tame housing prices were at a critical point.

While visiting the southern region of Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, Mr Wen took on the issues that have raised worries about the direction of the world's second biggest economy: inflation, housing costs, weakened demand from rich economies, and the pressure to secure jobs for millions of university students and rural migrants.

"Currently, economic growth is slowing and external demand is falling, and we should make employment even more of a priority in economic and social development, doing our utmost to expand employment," Mr Wen told officials in Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, a poorer region next to export-driven Guangdong province, People's Daily reported.

Those efforts would include "ensuring an appropriate rate of economic growth" and supporting labour-intensive industries, small businesses and private firms, he said.

The Chinese premier made clear that jobs and social stability are dominant concerns.

People's livelihoods should assume a more important role in setting macroeconomic policy because such needs affect "social harmony and stability", said Premier Wen, who visited Guangxi for two days last week.

Right balance

The government faces a tricky test in striking the right balance between maintaining growth and containing inflation. China's economic expansion slowed to 9.1 per cent from a year earlier in the third quarter, its weakest pace in more than two years as euro-debt strains and a sluggish US economy took a toll.

In September, consumer inflation dipped to 6.1 per cent, retreating from three-year highs, but stubborn food price pressures remain a worry for policy-makers.

"To rein in prices, we must first properly deal with food prices," the Premier told officials.

The price of pork, a key meat for many Chinese people, was levelling off but winter could add new pressures, he added.

"With the arrival of winter, consumption (of pork) will increase," he said. He urged officials to boost production by ensuring that incentives reach pig breeders and feed prices are kept stable. Corn processing projects should also be restricted to counter rising prices for that grain, Mr Wen said.