Beijing: China still enjoys a huge development potential and will maintain an eight percent growth rate for at least next 20 years, according to Justin Yifu Lin, former chief economist of the World Bank.

He was speaking during a seminar on Monday at Peking University, Beijing in his first public appearance in the country after completing a four-year tenure as World Bank chief economist and Senior Vice President.

Justin said that developing countries should promote the growth of industries where they have comparative advantages, while governments will play a key role in selecting and developing those industries.

"At each given stage of development, the market is the fundamental mechanism for effective resource allocation, but the state needs to play a proactive, facilitating role in the move from a lower stage to a higher stage," Justin said.

The 60-year-old Chinese economist will return to teaching at Peking University. He took up his World Bank position in 2008, having served for 15 years as professor and founding director of the China Centre for Economic Research at the varsity.


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