Country continues to show signs of resilience

2024-3-25 14:27:38

China successfully achieved its major economic and development goals and overcame various unfavorable obstacles last year, fully demonstrating its inherent potential and resilience. As China's economy continues to recover and the country's high-standard opening-up proceeds apace, the country is expected to bring more opportunities to global economic development this year.

Looking back to 2023, the nation's macroeconomy showed a trend of high growth, stable employment, low prices and a balanced international payments situation throughout the year.

In terms of overall growth, China, as the world's second-largest economy, became one of the fastest-growing major markets last year, with 5.2 percent year-on-year growth. In terms of demand, consumption has played an increasing role in stabilizing the fundamentals of the national economy.

For instance, the contribution rate of final consumption expenditure to economic growth reached 82.5 percent last year, an increase of 49.7 percentage points from the previous year. Total retail sales of consumer goods for the whole year also exceeded 47 trillion yuan ($6.53 trillion), an increase of 7.2 percent.

During the Spring Festival holiday in February, the number of domestic tourist trips hit 474 million, a year-on-year increase of 34.3 percent. The contribution rate of the domestic demand to economic growth reached 111.4 percent last year, an increase of 25.3 percentage points.

It can be seen from the data above that consumption has played a more prominent role in expanding domestic demand and driving economic development.

Despite developed countries being generally under inflationary pressure, China's price levels have remained stable with steady prices on both consumption and production fronts.

In terms of income, per capita disposable income among households increased 6.1 percent in 2023 compared with the previous year, which is slightly faster than overall economic growth. This is important for stabilizing income expectations, boosting consumer confidence and laying a solid foundation for consumption growth.

As for the implementation of expanding domestic demand, for instance, the government has introduced a series of policies to boost consumption, which has given full play to the role of the services sector and consumption in leading economic growth. Total retail sales of consumer goods hit a record high in 2023 and fully demonstrated the advantages of the country's ultra-large-scale market.

Such economic activity accelerated the flow of people. In January, more than 57 million passengers traveled by plane, which marked a year-on-year increase of 44.1 percent and a monthly-high since the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2019.

By continuing to deepen supply-side structural reforms, on the other hand, China has worked hard to leverage technological innovation to promote industrial innovation, build a modern industrial system and promote high-end, intelligent and green development of its manufacturing sector.

With such efforts, the country's innovation-driven capabilities have been continuously improved. In 2023, China's investment in high-tech manufacturing and high-tech service industries increased by 9.9 percent and 11.4 percent, respectively, over the previous year.

China has also continued to deepen reforms of its sci-tech system and accelerate self-reliance in high-level sci-tech. In 2023, investment in the country's high-tech industries grew 10.3 percent year-on-year, 7.3 percentage points higher than the growth rate of overall investment.

Notably, the country has implemented several policies and measures to stabilize foreign investment and foreign trade. Last year, China's imports and exports both achieved steady growth in terms of scale and quality.

In particular, electric vehicles, lithium-ion batteries and solar batteries put on an eye-catching performance by exceeding 1 trillion yuan in total exports for the first time, which marked an increase of 29.9 percent year-on-year.

While the economy has achieved rapid growth, the quality of growth has been continuously improved. China's economic growth has increasingly bid farewell to the traditional model that relies on low-cost labor, high environmental costs and low land prices.

The country has increasingly relied on technological innovation and focuses more on quality instead of quantity. China's high-quality development continues to increase, especially in emerging and green industries.

In 2023, industrial output of the country's high-tech manufacturing sector and equipment manufacturing industry rose 15.7 percent and 33.6 percent, respectively, year-on-year. The integrated development of digital technology and the real economy has also made solid progress, with e-commerce transactions increasing 9.4 percent over the previous year, and output of the information transmission, software and information technology services sectors rising 11.9 percent.

China's investment in high-tech and basic research will also drive high-quality economic development. In 2023, total research and development expenditure hit 3.3 trillion yuan, accounting for 2.64 percent of the GDP, of which, basic research spending increased 9.3 percent year-on-year.

A recent European Union report, which surveyed 2,500 major companies around the world, showed that total R&D expenses in 2022 stood at some 9.7 trillion yuan. Chinese companies accounted for 17.8 percent, behind only those of the United States at 42.1 percent. Among them, Huawei ranked fifth worldwide in terms of R&D expenses.

China's economic development is becoming a major driver of global economic recovery. It contributed more than 30 percent to world economic growth in 2023 and is the largest engine of global economic growth.

For the world, effective demand is the scarcest resource. With a population of more than 1.4 billion and per capita GDP of over $12,000, China has strong potential for rapid economic recovery, innovation leadership and risk resistance. The country has the greatest potential in the world and will definitely bring more opportunities globally.

China has been actively promoting high-standard opening-up to the outside world, as seen by the construction of free trade ports and zones. China also lifted restrictions on the shareholding ratio of foreign capital in banking and insurance institutions in January.

Nowadays, the technological revolution marked by IT, biotech, aerospace, new materials and new energy is profoundly changing human production and lifestyle. After more than 40 years of development, China's sci-tech and economic prowess is catching up with that of developed economies and the country has turned from a follower to a participant and a leader in more and more areas.

China's development never involves closing doors. Instead, the country is using its unremitted efforts to benefit people all over the world.

In 2022, the Chinese space station opened its doors to the world and became the first country in history to open its space station to all United Nations members. China is also committed to biodiversity and environmental protection and has pledged to achieve carbon neutrality before 2060 and is currently the country with the highest renewable energy output and installed capacity.

(Source: China Daily)

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