BEIJING, March 5 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao Thursday called on the nation to strengthen conviction for victory while he envisaged "arduous and formidable" tasks in 2009 as the country tried to keep economic growth amid a global downturn.
In his work report to the National People's Congress (NPC), the country's parliament, Wen said he believes the country will be able to keep its economic growth at about 8 percent in 2009 despite worsening world economy.
China's economy grew 9 percent in 2008, the lowest since 2001
Wen acknowledged that 2009 will "be the most difficult year for China's economic development" since the new millennium, but he said the growth rate was proposed based on China's needs and ability.
"In China, a developing country with a population of 1.3 billion, maintaining a certain growth rate for the economy is essential for expanding employment for both urban and rural residents, increasing people's incomes and ensuring social stability," Wen told nearly 3,000 NPC deputies gathering at the Great Hall of the People in downtown Beijing.
"As long as we adopt the right policies and appropriate measures and implement them efficiently, we will be able to achieve this target," he said.
Other key economic and social targets included creating more than 9 million jobs in cities, keeping urban registered unemployment rate under 4.6 percent and keeping the rise of Consumer Price Index (CPI) at about 4 percent.