A truck loads containers at Tangshan Port, North China's Hebei province, April 16, 2021. （Photo/Xinhua）
The set GDP growth target of around 5.5 percent for this year projects China's ability to grow steadily and its economy's resilience arising from strengths in manufacturing, trade and the private sector, a prominent political adviser said on Monday.
Yang Weimin, deputy director of the Economic Affairs Committee of 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, China's top political advisory body now holding its annual sitting in Beijing, said setting this year's growth target at around 5.5 percent has a "prudent and proactive" tone.
He said last year's 8.1 percent GDP growth was impressive considering the global headwinds. The key to this year's steady growth will be better leveraging of growth drivers and unleashing growth potential.
Yang said the Chinese economy will remain resilient on the back of its strengths in manufacturing, trade and the private sector.
"China's value added in manufacturing grew by 9.8 percent last year as it has the complete range of industries and a strong manufacturing capacity," he said. This factor will become even more important against the backdrop of global uncertainties.
He stressed that manufacturing upgrade, particularly on the technology front, will continue to be of paramount importance in China's progress to high-quality development.
"Innovation will be key to the sharpening of China's competitive edge. And high-end manufacturing will be the carrier of technological innovation," he said. He recalled that keeping the share of manufacturing in the overall economy stable is a requirement under the country's 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25).
He said trade was robust last year, thanks to comprehensive industrial chains in the domestic market, and will likely continue to grow at a steady pace this year.
Noting that businesses in general and the private sector, in particular, were affected by the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic last year, Yang said substantial support shall be provided to the country's smaller business communities as they become relatively more vulnerable when faced with risk.
"It will be critically important to anchor their expectations," he said.