Growth, poverty alleviation boost nation's profile(2)

2018-03-05 10:33China Daily Editor: Li Yan ECNS App Download

Poverty alleviation

Poverty alleviation has also been a priority for the central leadership since it took office in 2012.

In a recent report called Promoting a More Inclusive and Sustainable Development for China, the World Bank said the country can achieve more inclusive and sustainable development by the use of coordinated reforms across a broad range of areas that maximize the development impact and address the nation's developmental challenges.

The report highlighted China's "unprecedented achievements" in rapid economic growth and poverty alleviation, and said rapid growth has been made possible by a wide range of reforms that have transformed the country into a more open and market-based urbanized economy.

"China's remarkable progress in reducing extreme poverty has significantly contributed to the decline in global poverty," said Hoon Soh, World Bank program leader for economic policies for China.

However, more than 30 million people are still living in poverty, and the report noted that efforts to improve living standards will continue, and estimated that the rate of extreme poverty will fall below 1 percent this year.

It also said the growth in consumption among poor households shows that they have shared in the country's rising prosperity.

Sun, from the NDRC's economic institute, said although the income gap widened for a time, the low-income group has maintained earnings growth.

He added that in the past five years, more support has been given to people on low incomes. More important, the poverty alleviation campaign has focused on long-term goals by cultivating appropriate industries and providing impoverished people with training in certain skills, instead of simply providing subsidies, which is vital to building a fair and energetic society.

New models promoted to facilitate businesses

In the past five years, new models and industries have emerged to underscore China's high-speed growth, including the introduction of pilot free trade zones and the booming sharing economy.

Since the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone was established in September 2013, a number of measures have been taken to facilitate trade by promoting the negative list for foreign investors, which removed several restrictions on foreign investment, and the single-window service for businesses, meaning all necessary facilities are available in one place.

So far, 11 such pilot zones have been set up in municipalities such as Tianjin and Chongqing, and in the provinces of Shaanxi and Sichuan.

Meanwhile, new industries and business models have recorded rapid rises since 2013 thanks to continuing central government support. On several occasions, Premier Li Keqiang has said the government should be cautious and tolerant toward new industries and businesses.

Last year, value-added in strategic emerging industries rose by 11 percent from 2016, while the value-added of high-tech manufacturing rose by 13.4 percent, according to the 2017 Statistical Communique on National Economic and Social Development, released by the National Bureau of Statistics last week.

Last year, 690,000 electric vehicles were produced nationwide, a rise of 51.2 percent from 2016. Meanwhile, the number of industrial robots rose by 81 percent to 130,000, and 2.9 million civilian drones were manufactured, a rise of 67 percent.

Emerging services made a combined operating profit of more than 744 billion yuan ($117 billion), up by 30 percent year-on-year, the document said.

Online retail sales rose by 32 percent, hitting 7.17 trillion yuan and accounting for 15 percent of total sales of consumer goods, the communique said. By the end of 2016, more than 25 percent of villages around the country had e-commerce delivery stations.

China has also become a leader in the sharing economy as the home of 60 of the world's 224"unicorns" - startups valued at $1 billion or more - according to the Annual Report for the Development of the Sharing Economy released last month by the National Information Center. Thirty-one of those 60 companies were in the sharing economy, accounting for 51.6 percent of the total, the report said.

Contribution to the global economy rises

As the Chinese economy has expanded rapidly in the past five years, the country's contribution to the global economy has also increased at a fast pace.

On Wednesday, the National Bureau of Statistics said China accounted for about 15 percent of the global economy last year, 3 percentage points higher than in 2012.

The country contributed about 30 percent of global economic growth last year, and was a vital engine driving the world's economic recovery, according to Sheng Laiyun, the bureau's spokesman.

Last year, the World Bank said that China contributed an average of 31.6 percent to global economic growth between 2013 and 2016, surpassing the combined contributions of the United States, the eurozone and Japan.

The World Economic Outlook, released by the International Monetary Fund in January, raised the estimate of China's economic growth this year to 6.6 percent - 0.1 percentage points higher than its projection in October.

Last year, the IMF raised its projected growth rate for the Chinese economy four times, illustrating the confidence the international community has in the world's second-largest economy, which has benefited from recovering external demand and a faster internal economic transformation to become a more innovation-driven, high-end economy.

Experts are optimistic about China's potential. Huang Qunhui, an industrial economics researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the country maintains the advantages of a large population, well-educated human resources and a well-developed national economic system.

China will maintain mid-to high-speed growth in the next few years and will continue to make a significant contribution to the global economy, he added.


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