CGTN: China’s economy shows vitality with innovative growth, booming market

BEIJING, Feb. 25, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — China’s provincial-level regions have set their economic growth targets for 2024, with figures ranging from 4.5 to 8 percent. Among them, over 20 regions are aiming to exceed 5 percent GDP growth.

Notably, these provinces share key priorities such as “new productive forces,” “boosting consumption” and “improving the business environment”.

The concept of “new productive forces” refers to a new form of productive forces, derived from continuous science and technology breakthroughs and innovation, that propel strategic emerging industries and future industries in an increasingly intelligent and information era.

Provinces have identified specific sectors to anchor new productive forces, including bio-manufacturing, the low-altitude economy, and emerging areas such as quantum technology and life sciences.

Efforts to integrate data with practical applications are also being made to bolster the digital economy. Zhejiang Province, for instance, is targeting a 9 percent increase in the added value of its core digital industries, and is seeking to ensure that 85 percent of major enterprises undergo digital transformation.

Likewise, several western inland provinces are looking to capitalize on their advantages in computing power to further industry digitization. For example, the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region aims to intelligently upgrade traditional industries and empower small- and medium-sized enterprises digitally, aspiring for the digital economy to comprise over 36 percent of its regional GDP.

Additionally, fostering the development of the private sector has become a key focus. Several provinces plan to leverage financial policies to support private enterprises in major tech innovations, encourage their participation in key scientific projects, and direct private investment towards infrastructure.

This year, Jiangsu plans to roll out specialized policies to stimulate private investment, while Guangxi is set to guide financial institutions to enhance support for first-time credit loans to private businesses. Also, Hainan will create a fund pool to assist companies with good credit but temporary financial difficulties.

Meanwhile, provinces and municipalities like Jiangxi, Liaoning, Chongqing and Shanxi are improving their regulatory frameworks to protect investment rights. They aim to eliminate indirect barriers to market entry, ensuring a level playing field for businesses of all types.

Drawn by the improving and welcoming business environment, along with the vast consumer market, foreign-funded enterprises are confident in their long-term investment prospects in China.

Major multinational corporations from various sectors, including KFC and Standard Chartered, have recently boosted their investments in China. The country continues to be a prime investment destination due to offering promising innovation opportunities, comprehensive industrial support and creating a conducive business environment.

In 2023, German direct investment in China increased by 4.3 percent, reaching a record high of 11.9 billion euros ($12.7 billion), according to official Bundesbank data analyzed by the IW institute. Additionally, China’s share of Germany’s total overseas investments climbed to 10.3 percent last year, marking the highest level since 2014.

Booming consumer market

Since 2023, China’s consumer market has shown a robust recovery. Last year, total retail sales of consumer goods reached 47.15 trillion yuan (about 6.63 trillion U.S. dollars), up 7.2 percent from the previous year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. Online retail sales saw an 11 percent increase, with physical goods’ online sales constituting 27.6 percent of the total retail sales.

The rise of new consumer models, such as e-commerce, has expanded the range of sales channels available in the consumer market, offering users a more varied experience, observed Pan Helin, a researcher at Zhejiang University.

The revitalization of the consumer market has also been reflected in the travel sector. During this year’s Spring Festival holiday, there was a high level of enthusiasm for travel. Data shows that the number of visitors to major cultural and tourism sites nationwide reached 123 million, marking a 22.8 percent increase compared with the same period in 2023.

The increased travel and cultural activities during the Spring Festival also fueled an uptick in entertainment spending, especially in the film industry. As of 1:15 p.m. Friday, box office revenue in China from the Spring Festival holiday (including pre-sale) has surpassed 7 billion yuan (approximately $983.3 million), according to Dengta Pro, the data analysis arm of China’s leading film-ticketing platform Taopiaopiao.

Pan noted that the increasing consumer demand for a higher quality of life and richer experiences signifies a shift in consumption patterns. This trend, coupled with a growing enthusiasm for shopping and leisure activities, indicates a steady recovery in China’s consumer market.

https://news.cgtn.com/news/2024-02-16/China-s-economy-shows-vitality-with-innovative-growth-booming-market-1rfaQqARiCI/p.html 

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