BEIJING, March 14 (Reuters) - Premier Wen Jiabao said China would intensify reform of its currency regime and allow the yuan to float more freely, expressing regret for what he said was unfinished work in his nine-year term.
Wen was speaking at the end of an annual parliament session, the National People’s Congress, punctuated by signs of a slowing economy. His key comments follow below:
“Since the exchange rate reform in 2005, China’s real effective exchange rate has risen by 30 percent.”
“In the Hong Kong market, NDFs (non-deliverable forwards) have started to fluctuate both ways. This tells us the yuan is possibly near a balanced level.”
“We will step-up exchange rate reforms, especially in increasing two-way fluctuations.”
“We will adhere to the principles of the Doha Round and advocate for free trade and oppose protectionism.”
”I’ve served as premier for the past nine years. These years have not been easy or ordinary. But I’ve always felt that there’s a lot of work that has not been done, (I) have more than a few regrets.
”Due to limited capabilities, coupled with the system and other reasons, there are many deficiencies in my work.
“Although it is not irresponsibility that has caused mistakes in any one matter, as the person in charge of the country’s highest administrative organ, as for the problems that have arisen in the economy and society during my term, I bear responsibility.”