Chinese premier urges 'new growth engines' amid slowing economy: Xinhua

By Reuters

Nov 22, 2014 03:59 AM EST

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has called for "new growth engines" to counter slowing growth in the world's second largest economy, Xinhua reported late on Friday.

The comments came as China unexpectedly cut interest rates for the first time in more than two years to help support its economy, heading for its slowest expansion in 24 years.

With factory growth stalling and a decelerating property market hurting demand for steel, cement and several other products, Beijing is under pressure to drive new areas of growth.

China should help people to set up their own businesses and speed up the development of new business models, Li said.

He encouraged Chinese manufacturers to expand overseas, establish strong, world-renowned brands, and launch more innovative "Created-in-China" products and services, the news agency said.

He also urged policy efforts to aid small and mid-sized banks and bolster the development of the Yangtze River economic belt, which covers nine provinces and stretches from southwest Yunnan province to Shanghai on the east coast.

Clean energy and modern farming are among the areas being targeted for expansion in the zone.

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