Technology, funds and industrial know-how that come with overseas investors and income, as well as jobs generated by its once-booming exports, have played a pivotal role in China’s elevation to the world’s second-largest economy over the past four decades.

However, amid an increasingly unfriendly geopolitical environment and the disturbance of global supply chains due to the coronavirus, Beijing has shifted to rely more on its 1.4 billion-consumer market to drive growth as it seeks to reduce its dependence on overseas shipments and foreign technology.

The growth of retail sales, a gauge for domestic consumer demand, also missed expectations last month despite a lower comparison base from a year earlier.

Beijing has already stepped up its charm offensive to lure foreign investors, with commerce minister Wang Wentao meeting a group of US-funded firms on Monday as part of the latest efforts to heal weak confidence among the foreign business community.

Recurring scepticism about China’s business environment outlook, fuelled by Beijing’s now-defunct zero-Covid policy and rising focus on security, are also viewed as factors.

Yang estimates that China will need an annual economic growth rate of 4.72 per cent between 2020-35 to achieve its per capita GDP target.

He also called on the government to reduce “improper interference” amid growing concerns about the future of the private sector in China.

He also called on the authorities to address the sluggish growth of consumer spending, boost technological innovation, maintain a comprehensive industrial system as a major manufacturing country, back the development of the platform economy and ensure stability in the property sector.