BEIJING (Reuters) - China aims to keep average annual economic growth at or above 6.5 percent in the next five years, the government said on Saturday as it unveiled a draft of its new five-year development plan at the annual meeting of parliament.

China also will increase the contribution of the services sector to its economic growth in the next five years, the government said.

China’s 13th five-year plan is a blueprint for economic and social development between 2016 and 2020. The final version will be approved by the parliament in the next two weeks.

It will allow more private investment into its banking secot, improve the mechanism for its interest rate and exchange rate markets, and improve operation and management of its foreign exchange reserves.

China will stabilize its economic policy stance, improve communication with the market and improve transparency and predictability of policy.

Weighed down by sluggish demand at home and abroad, industrial overcapacity and faltering investment, China’s economic growth slowed to 6.9 percent in 2015, its weakest in a quarter of a century. Economists widely expect it to cool further to around 6.5 percent this year.

China also aims to cut energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product by 15 percent by 2020, and reduce carbon emissions per unit of GDP by 18 percent by the end of the decade.

China will strengthen construction of storage of strategic reserves for oil products, and will build reserves for natural gas.

Reporting By Jake Spring, Niu Shuping and Xiaoyi Shao; Editing by Kim Coghill



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