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Key meeting approves new guidelines to spur growth, November 10, 2015 Adjust font size:

President Xi Jinping on Monday stressed at a key meeting in Beijing that reform and innovation are the new engines for the country's economic growth, and called for a quicker implementation of both, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

"Reform and development have achieved a high degree of integration. Further development needs to be based on reforms while progress in reforms gives a strong impetus for development," Xi said during the 18th meeting of the central leading group for comprehensively deepening reform.

Xi said that China's economic development and reforms are "highly integrated," and that economic growth requires reform to move forward. He added that reforms and innovation would provide "sustained force" to push the nation's economy to grow.

The spirit of reform and innovation must be strengthened and the country's governance system shall be modernized, Xi said.

At the meeting, the Leading Group for Overall Reform of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China approved a number of guidelines designed to speed up implementation of the Free Trade Zone (FTZ) strategy, promote innovation for the processing trade, and build an inclusive financial system, according to Xinhua.

Experts said that Xi's comment and the newly approved guidelines show the determination of the government to quickly push through reforms to key areas of the country's economic structure.

"China's economy is in the middle of transformation, and reforms are essential to build a healthier economic system," said Xu Hongcai, director of the Economic Research Department at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges. He told the Global Times on Monday that the guidelines will speed up reforms in those specific areas.

The group called for swift implementation of the FTZ strategy, and letting the market take a "decisive function" in distribution of resources, and building a high-standard free trade network that can operate with both the domestic and the international market, Xinhua said.

China announced plans to establish three pilot FTZs in Guangdong, Tianjin and Fujian in March, and expand the Shanghai FTZ, which was set up in September 2013, Xinhua reported.

The pilot FTZs have yielded significant results since they were established, the Ministry of Commerce said last week, adding the FTZs have so far attracted 4,639 new foreign companies in the first nine months of this year, and contracts have been signed worth 346.11 billion yuan ($54.41 billion).

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