Interview: China well-positioned to realize annual economic, social goals: official

(Xinhua) 09:22, November 05, 2023

BEIJING, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- A senior Chinese government official has voiced optimism over the nation's annual economic goals based on an in-depth review of the economic performances in the first three quarters of 2023 and the pro-growth measures that have continued to inject vitality into the economy in the fourth quarter.

"We are confident, well-positioned and capable of overcoming various risks and challenges, promoting a sustained and stable economic recovery in the fourth quarter, and realizing the expected economic and social development goals and tasks throughout the year with high quality," said Zheng Shanjie, head of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the country's top economic planner.

In a recent interview with Xinhua, Zheng said that during the first three quarters, agricultural production was in good progress with another bumper harvest expected this year; value-added industrial output increased 4 percent year on year; transport, accommodation and catering sectors rebounded significantly, and manufacturing investment grew 6.2 percent while infrastructure investment maintained rapid growth.

During the same period, the decline in exports had narrowed month by month in July, August and September; a total of 10.22 million new jobs were created in urban areas across the country, an increase of 210,000 year on year, while per capita disposable income rose 5.9 percent, he added.

In the first three quarters of 2023, the Chinese economy expanded by 5.2 percent, and the country has set an annual growth target of 5 percent for the whole year.

While introducing the government's work priorities in the next step, Zheng said in the next few months, various policies and measures will continue to take effect as business entities are mustering strength.

In terms of the implementation of macro-control policies, tax and fee reduction measures will be concretely implemented while the issuance and use of special-purpose local government bonds will be accelerated. Financing support for the manufacturing sector's transformation and upgrading, small and micro-sized enterprises, as well as private enterprises, will be increased, Zheng said.

Following the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held last month in Beijing, Zheng noted that a number of pragmatic measures will be introduced to strengthen open cooperation.

The government will also accelerate the cultivation and expansion of strategic emerging industries, stimulate new momentum for the innovative development of the digital economy, and accelerate the transformation and upgrading of traditional industries, he said.

According to Zheng, while accelerating the construction of public infrastructure, such as the renovation of shanty towns in cities and the construction of affordable housing, the government also seeks to strictly control new "hidden" local government debts and resolve existing debts in an effective and orderly manner. The "hidden" debt is separate from on-budget borrowings.

Efforts will also be made to boost employment among college graduates, migrant workers and other groups. Meanwhile, the government will ensure market supply and maintain price stability for important livelihood commodities, and ensure the supply of coal, electricity, oil, gas, as well as transport services during the winter season, he said.

In regard to reviving business confidence, Zheng said the NDRC has so far this year publicly promoted 5,787 projects worth a total investment value of 5.8 trillion yuan (about 807.8 billion U.S. dollars) in an effort to boost private sector investment. The NDRC also proactively carried out 11,250 medium and long-term loan projects worth 1.75 trillion yuan targeting the private firms in the manufacturing sector in the first three quarters.

The NDRC is working to nurture new growth drivers by promoting the deep integration of digital technology and the real economy, as well as the integration of advanced manufacturing and modern service industries, Zheng noted, adding that emphasis will be given to emerging sectors such as integrated circuits and new energy vehicles.

(Web editor: Tian Yi, Kou Jie)


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