People’s Bank of China’s Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said market access reforms should be accelerated and the country can be more bold with opening up the economy.
Policy makers are now more focused on achieving quality growth, rather than the pace of expansion, which means China may reduce its reliance on credit-backed growth, Zhou told a packed media briefing Friday during the National People’s Congress in Beijing. He said it is positive major economies are exiting years of easy monetary policy amid the global recovery.
One of his deputies, Yi Gang, told reporters stable progress will be made on the convertibility of China’s capital account and that the the country is looking at domestic economic fundamentals as it determines policy settings. State Administration of Foreign Exchange Director Pan Gongsheng said cross-border flows are stable.
The appearance is likely Zhou’s last as PBOC governor, as he is widely expected to retire after leading the central bank for 15 years, the longest tenure in the monetary authority’s history. NPC deputies will vote March 19 to appoint a successor, who will face the challenge of keeping the economy growing while defusing debt risks and steering monetary policy.
Though current bank regulatory chief Guo Shuqing and Hubei provincial party chief Jiang Chaoliang have both been tipped to replace Zhou, President Xi Jinping’s top economic policy adviser and newly-appointed Politburo member Liu He has recently been named by analysts in connection with the top monetary policy job and a vice premier position.