China’s structural reform has made rapid progress as a whole thanks to a string of government reforms, Lou Jiwei, newly-appointed chairman of the National Council for Social Security Fund, said on Sunday.

Global issues like sluggish demand and high debt ratio are rooted in medium-long term structural problems of global economy, Lou said at an annual meeting on Chinese economy and international cooperation.

China’s structural reform has achieved remarkable results under the government’s efforts to streamline administration, lower market access, remove barriers, and push forward reforms of price, household registration and finance, according to Lou.

In 2017, China will face a number of “hard nuts” to crack, such as how to improve labor productivity, keep fiscal sustainability and promote the effective flow of production elements.

Lou, the former finance minister, was named the fifth chairman of the national pension fund to replace Xie Xuren.

Earlier this month, China’s top legislature appointed Xiao Jie to replace Lou as minister of finance.