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    China's foreign trade volume will grow by about 6 percent this year

    China may Sign Free Trade Zone Agreements With South Korea, Australia

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    Premier Li Keqiang presented the annual report of the National Development and Reform Commission, which stated that China's foreign trade volume will grow by about 6 percent this year.

    BEIJING (Sputnik) – China's foreign trade volume will grow by about 6 percent this year, Premier Li Keqiang said in the annual report of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) that he presented to the country's parliament on Thursday.

    China's foreign trade volume grew by 3.4 percent in 2014, which was lower than the target figure.

    According to Li, China plans to sign free trade zone agreements with South Korea and Australia as soon as possible and wants to accelerate free trade zone talks with Japan.

    Li also said that it is necessary to cut in half the number of spheres where foreign investments are limited. According to the premier, China will encourage its own enterprises to invest abroad and plans to conduct monetary policy reforms.

    As for China's non-financial outward direct investment (ODI), it is expected to reach 113 billion dollars before the end of this year, a 10-percent increase from 2014. 

    In January 2015, China's ODI grew by 40.6 percent to 10.17 billion dollars, with Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and European Union remaining top investment destinations.

    The Chinese government is setting its inflation target for 2015 at 3 percent, Li said in the NDRC report. Last year, prices rose just 2 percent in China, which was below the 3.5 percent increase Beijing had hoped for.

    Meanwhile China's GDP growth is expected to amount to 7 percent in 2015, which is 0.4 percent lower than in the previous year, according to Li. The government's target for GDP growth in 2014 was about 7.5 percent.

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