The announcement by Li Keqiang is in line with government plans to guide the world's second-largest economy to lower, more sustainable growth. Last year's target was 7.5 per cent, though actual growth came in at 7.4 per cent, the lowest since 1990.
"A growth rate of approximately 7 per cent will ensure ample employment," Li said in the report. "This target is both aligned with our goal of finishing building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and is appropriate in terms of the need to grow and upgrade our economy."
The inflation target for the year will be kept at about 3 per cent, said the report, to be delivered at the start of the annual National People's Congress.
The government also aims to create 10 million jobs and keep the urban unemployment rate at 4.5 per cent or below, the report said.