BANGKOK, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- As global economic recovery still moves in fits and starts while downward pressures grow, China remains the locomotive of the world economy and its stable growth will support the global post-pandemic recovery, a Thai banker said.
Wichai Kinchong Choi, senior vice president of leading Thai bank Kasikornbank, said China's economic performance in 2021 is outstanding, which demonstrates the country's significance to the world economy as well as the vitality and resilience of its domestic market.
Despite sporadic COVID-19 outbreaks and a complicated external environment, China's economy grew 8.1 percent in 2021, well above the government's target of "above 6 percent" and putting the two-year average growth at 5.1 percent, according to data released by China's National Bureau of Statistics on Monday.
Fixed-asset investment posted stable growth of 4.9 percent, while value-added industrial output expanded 9.6 percent from a year earlier. Output of the country's high-tech manufacturing and equipment manufacturing industries expanded 18.2 percent and 12.9 percent, respectively, while investment in manufacturing rose 13.5 percent in 2021 from a year ago.
All these consolidate a trend of China's shift to high-quality growth, Wichai said in an interview with Xinhua.
He said China has played a crucial and irreplaceable role in supporting the global supply chain, and the wider opening-up of its vast market also benefits global businesses, as the solid growth of China's imports has suggested.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) into the Chinese mainland, in actual use, expanded 14.9 percent year-on-year to a record high of 1.15 trillion yuan (about 180.82 billion U.S. dollars) in 2021, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
Commenting on the FDI data, Wichai said it shows global investors cast more votes of confidence on the country's economic outlook.
"China's comprehensive advantages, such as the vast and promising market, abundant human resources, sound infrastructure and complete industrial facilities, all make it attractive to foreign investment," he said.
Looking ahead, Wichai expected the COVID-19 pandemic to continue weighing on global economic growth, with supply chain disruption, weakening market demand and grim consumer sentiment being the major challenges.
He called for closer cooperation and policy coordination to boost common development amid the COVID-19 pandemic. ■