High-quality development, more reforms, opening-up key to economic growth
BEIJING – Facing increasing global complexities and waves of tech revolution, China has outlined its blueprint for higher-quality growth with deeper reform and wider opening-up measures.
China will work to uphold and improve its basic socialist economic system and promote the high-quality development of the economy, said the milestone document adopted at the fourth plenary session of the 19th Communist Party of China Central Committee.
The country will step up efforts to improve the socialist market economy and put in place new institutions for an open economy with higher standards.
The view that the charted path will unleash new growth potential was shared among participants from home and abroad at the recent New Economy Forum in Beijing.
“China always looks ahead to the next stage, and that, I think, is even more important now than it ever was,” said Nicholas Stern, chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
“The Chinese government has defined a domestic agenda for continuing economic reform, and I think that they are on the right path,” said Ahmed Saeed, vice-president of the Asian Development Bank.
By the end of 2018, China’s secondary and tertiary industries saw their combined output value reach around 93 percent of GDP, said Ning Jizhe, head of the National Bureau of Statistics, citing results of the fourth national economic census.
“The primary feature of the market is that enterprises are the main players,” said Ning, adding that the total number of market entities in China has exceeded 100 million.
“The path to increase growth will come through economic reform, and hopefully through some elements of structural reforms,” said Saeed, noting that the country is on a natural path from export-driven to consumption-driven growth.
His point was echoed by Ning, who said with the advancement of the consumption level and structure, Chinese enterprises will inevitably change the structure of their products, investments and industries.
“This holds the key to the transformation and upgrading of China in the future,” he said.
Openness, also a prominent feature of the Chinese market, forms a large part of China’s reform measures as the country steps up modernizing governance.
China’s opening up offers mutual benefits to the world. In 2018, China’s GDP accounted for 16 percent of the world’s total, but its contribution to world economic growth remained at nearly 30 percent.
By holding a national-level import expo in 2018 and 2019, China is injecting impetus into the world and creating opportunities for cooperation, said Zhang Yansheng, a researcher with the China Center for International Economic Exchanges.
From the newly launched section of the Shanghai free trade zone to Shenzhen’s pilot demonstration zone of socialism with Chinese characteristics, China is building “a platform and system for a new round of opening up in the new era,” said Zhang.
“Despite the attraction of the China market and its considerable private sector, China’s economic model is amplified through highly strategic initiatives, including the Belt and Road,” said Charlene Barshefsky, former US trade representative.
In the first 10 months of 2019, foreign direct investment into the Chinese mainland expanded 6.6 percent year-on-year to 752.41 billion yuan (about $107 billion), while that from the economies involved in the Belt and Road Initiative rose by 19.3 percent, data from the Ministry of Commerce showed.
As China opens wider with concrete policies and an improved business environment, the country is becoming more attractive for foreign investment.
“China is now a fascinating place for foreign investors. I have seen China become much more open toward foreign direct investment,” said Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, group CEO and managing director of the Mubadala Investment Company.
The evolution of the Chinese market is continuing, more importantly, with further progress expected in the coming months, according to the Abu Dhabi-based investor.