Local economic data show progress in high-quality development

Updated 2018-01-25 09:22:01

After China revealed its national economic figures last week, local economic data released at the ongoing provincial-level legislative meetings have sent firm signals that China is moving toward high-quality development.

Participants in the ongoing "two sessions" in southern Guangdong Province, one of the country's economic powerhouses, were keen to see innovation-driven growth continue in the region.

As an important indicator of innovative capability, Guangdong's research and development spending accounted for 2.65 percent of the provincial GDP in 2017, up 0.09 percentage point year on year.

Guangdong's GDP exceeded 8.9 trillion yuan (about 1.39 trillion U.S.dollars) in 2017 thanks to technology-driven growth. The general public budget revenue increased by 10.9 percent, total profits of large industrial enterprises were up 16 percent, while disposable income per capita grew by 9 percent.

The simultaneous growth of people's wallets and those of enterprises and government indicated a better economic structure for high-quality development, said an official with the provincial department of finance.

In southwest China's Sichuan Province, the local economy surpassed 3.6 trillion yuan in 2017, expanding 8.1 percent, marking the first acceleration in pace since 2011.

The improvement in industrial quality and efficiency has helped Sichuan achieve growth, said Xiong Jianzhong, chief economist of the Sichuan Provincial Bureau of Statistics, adding that Sichuan's economy has become more robust with a healthier structure.

In many other Chinese provinces, the growth rates of strategic emerging industries and high-technology industries have all surpassed that of their industrial growth rates, contributing more to the local GDP, and showing signs of high-quality development.

Shanghai continued introducing new policies to support the development of the real economy last year, said Yang Huihao, chief economist of the Shanghai statistics bureau. The city's automobile manufacturing industry alone grew by 19.1 percent in 2017.

OPENING-UP

Chinese provinces are opening up further.

In 2017, Hunan's export and import volume increased 39.8 percent year on year, leading the growth among six central Chinese provinces.

"Hunan cut the capacity of more than 4,000 enterprises last year. However, the economy remained stable due to our efforts to transform the development model," said Xie Chaoying, director of Hunan Economic and Information Technology Commission.

Although China's economy has entered a stage of quality-oriented development, the shift of growth drivers is still in transition.

The economic growth rate of north China's Tianjin Municipality dropped to 3.6 percent in 2017.

"We have felt the pain, but the new driving forces of Tianjin's development, including 'internet plus' and high-end manufacturing, are taking shape and efficiency has been improving," said Chu Liping, deputy director of Tianjin Municipal Bureau of Statistics.

According to the Central Economic Working Conference, China's economy has entered a stage of high-quality development rather than high-speed expansion.

Under the current framework, provincial-level governments may no longer pursue only speed and quantity.

"Now that it has entered a new era, the competition has shifted from speed and scale to efficiency," said Cheng Hongyu, professor at Guangdong Institute of Public Administration.

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