China will strengthen the fundamental role of consumption in driving economic growth while promoting effective investment in 2018, according to a government work report available to the media Monday morning ahead of the annual parliamentary session.[Special coverage]
"We will boost consumption in response to the new changes in consumer demand, focus on making structural adjustments in increasing investment, and create a positive cycle of supply structure upgrading and appropriate expansion of aggregate demand," said the report.
The country will promote consumption upgrading and develop new forms and models of consumption, extend preferential policies on purchase tax on new-energy vehicles by another three years, and rescind all local policies that restrict sales of non-local second-hand vehicles, it said.
"We will support private actors in providing more services in healthcare, elderly care, education, culture and sports," said the report.
China will create integrated tourism demonstration zones, and lower ticket prices at key state tourist sites.
The country will promote the healthy development of online shopping and express delivery services. All types of behavior that infringe on consumers' rights and interests will be punished in accordance with law without leniency.
"We will enable investment to play the pivotal role in improving the supply structure," said the report.
This year will see 732 billion yuan (about 115.6 billion U.S. dollars) invested in railway construction and around 1.8 trillion yuan invested in highway and waterway projects; the scale of investment in ongoing water conservancy projects will reach 1 trillion yuan, according to the report.
The central and western regions will continue to be the priority for major infrastructure construction.
The country will carry out a new round of major technology transformation and upgrading projects, it said.
The central government budget will earmark 537.6 billion yuan for investment in 2018, an increase of 30 billion yuan over last year.
"We will implement policies and measures designed to encourage private investment, introduce a number of attractive projects in sectors like railway, civil aviation, oil and natural gas, telecommunications, and make sure that private investment can gain entry and is able to develop," said the report.