China will try to quicken the pace of economic reform this year as part of the government's efforts to arrest a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy, the country's top economic planning agency said late on Saturday.
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) reaffirmed nine reform priorities for 2014, including deepening reforms in the power and the oil and gas industries and cutting red tape for investment approvals, according to a statement on its website, www.ndrc.gov.cn.
"Not only for reform draft planning, but also to solve the risks and problems of the current economy, we all need to try boldly to quicken the reform," the NDRC said in the statement after a two-day meeting on economic reform.
The statement followed a batch of economic data that showed across-the-board weaknesses in China's economy, sparking new calls for Beijing to ease policies to shore up growth.
Last November, China adopted a reform blueprint for the rest of the decade. So far Beijing has chosen a steady and gradual way to carry out the plan. The regulator also said China will push forward price reforms for resource products and speed up urbanisation-related reforms to allow more people to live in cities.
It reiterated it would speed up efforts on liberalisation of interest rates and exchange rates and quicken reforms on property taxes and consumption taxes.