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China holds Central Economic Work Conference to plan for 2024

Xinhua | December 13, 2023


Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, delivers an important speech at the annual Central Economic Work Conference in Beijing, capital of China. The conference was held from Monday to Tuesday in Beijing. (Xinhua/Yao Dawei)

The annual Central Economic Work Conference was held in Beijing from Monday to Tuesday as Chinese leaders decided priorities for the economic work in 2024.

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, delivered an important speech at the conference.

In his speech, Xi reviewed the country's economic work in 2023, analyzed the current economic situation and arranged next year's economic work.

It was noted at the meeting that China's economy has achieved a recovery, with solid progress made in high-quality development in 2023.

To further revive the economy, China still has to overcome some difficulties and challenges, including lack of effective demand, overcapacity in some sectors, lackluster social expectations, certain risks and hidden problems, bottlenecks in the domestic circulation, as well as rising complexity, severity and uncertainty of the external environment, the meeting said.

It is important to be more mindful of potential dangers and to effectively respond to and solve these problems, said the meeting.

Overall, favorable conditions outweigh unfavorable factors in China's development, and the fundamental trend of the economic recovery and long-term positive outlook has not changed, the meeting said, urging stronger confidence.

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, delivers an important speech at the annual Central Economic Work Conference in Beijing, capital of China. The conference was held from Monday to Tuesday in Beijing. Li Qiang, Zhao Leji, Wang Huning, Cai Qi, Ding Xuexiang and Li Xi attended the conference. (Xinhua/Yao Dawei)

Regarding the economic work next year, the meeting called for efforts to pursue progress while ensuring stability, consolidate stability through progress, and establish the new before abolishing the old.

It urged the introduction of more policies that will help stabilize expectations, growth and employment, as well as active endeavors to promote the transition of growth models, structural adjustment, and quality and efficiency improvement, so as to consolidate the foundation of stable economic development with positive outlook.

The country should strengthen counter-cyclical and cross-cyclical adjustments of macro policies and continue to implement a proactive fiscal policy and a prudent monetary policy with strengthened innovation and coordination of policy tools, the meeting said.

The meeting called for reasonably expanding the scope of special local government bonds as capital funds, implementing policies on structural tax and fee reductions, and mainly supporting scientific and technological innovation as well as the development of the manufacturing sector.

It stressed efforts to maintain reasonable and sufficient liquidity, and keep the scale of social financing and money supply in line with the expected targets for economic growth and price levels.

The financial institutions should be guided to scale up support for scientific and technological innovation, green transformation, inclusive finance for small and micro businesses, and digital economy, according to the meeting.

It also urged efforts to ensure that overall financing costs steadily drop and keep the RMB exchange rate basically stable at a reasonable and balanced level.

Measures should be taken to strengthen the consistency of macroeconomic policy orientation, beef up coordination in fiscal, monetary, employment, industrial, regional, science and technology, and environmental policies, and include non-economic policies in the assessment of macroeconomic policy consistency to ensure that the policies form synergy.

The meeting listed priorities in nine aspects as follows:

-- Sci-tech innovation should lead the development of a modern industrial system.

-- More should be done to expand domestic demand.

-- Reforms in key areas should be deepened.

-- High-standard opening up should be expanded.

-- Risks in key areas should be prevented and defused in a continuous and effective manner.

-- Sustained efforts should be made to do a good job in the work related to agriculture, rural areas and farmers.

-- Efforts should be made to facilitate integrated urban-rural development and coordinated regional development.

-- More should be done to advance ecological conservation and promote green and low-carbon development.

-- Efforts should be made to secure and improve people's livelihoods.

On sci-tech innovation, the meeting urged promoting industrial innovation through sci-tech innovation, and in particular forging new industries, models and impetus with disruptive and cutting-edge technologies.

It called for nurturing strategic emerging industries including biological manufacturing, commercial space industry and low-altitude economy, and opening up new arenas for future industries such as quantum technology and life sciences.

On expanding domestic demand, efforts should be made to stimulate consumption with potentials and expand productive investment to create a virtuous cycle of mutual promotion between consumption and investment.

The development of digital consumption, green consumption and health consumption should be further promoted, and new growth areas such as consumption of smart home appliances, entertainment and tourism, sports events and trendy domestic brands should be fostered.

Consumption of products including new energy vehicles and electronic products should be stimulated, while efforts should be made to increase the income of urban and rural residents and expand the scale of the middle-income group.

Investment and financing mechanisms should be improved, with new cooperation mechanisms for government and non-government capital to be implemented and non-government capital to be supported in participating in new-type infrastructure construction.

On deepening reforms, moves should be taken to improve the core competitiveness of state-owned enterprises, advance the development of the private economy, and encourage small and medium-sized enterprises to develop special and sophisticated technologies to produce novel and unique products.

The forging of a unified national market shall be accelerated, and efforts will be exerted to break down local protectionism and market segmentation. The logistics cost should be effectively lowered.

A new round of reform of the fiscal and tax system should be designed and the reform of the financial system should be implemented.

On the opening-up front, efforts should be made to foster new drivers of foreign trade, consolidate the overall performance of foreign trade and foreign capital, and expand the intermediate goods trade, service trade, digital trade and cross-border e-commerce export.

Market access for telecommunications, medical and other service industries shall be eased, while efforts should be made to align with global high-standard economic and trade rules, resolve issues such as cross-border data flow and equal participation in government procurement, and make "Invest in China" a popular choice.

On preventing and defusing risks, it is necessary to coordinate measures to mitigate risks related to the real estate sector, local government debt, and small and medium-sized financial institutions, rigorously crack down on illegal financial activities, and resolutely prevent systemic risks.

Active and prudent efforts should be made to defuse risks in the property sector, the reasonable financing needs of real estate enterprises of different ownerships should be met equally, and the building of a new development model for the real estate sector should be accelerated.

Coordinated moves should be made to resolve local government debt risks while ensuring stability and development.

On green development, the meeting called for advancing ecological conservation and promoting green and low-carbon development, with moves including developing pioneer areas in building a Beautiful China and hubs exemplifying green and low-carbon development.

The country should seize all opportunities, make full use of favorable conditions available, and cope with external uncertainties with dedicated work.

The meeting stressed upholding and strengthening the Party's overall leadership, and proceeding with the sound implementation of the decisions and deployments on economic work made by the CPC Central Committee.

It also stressed ensuring the market supply and stable prices of important commodities for people's livelihoods at the turn of the year, securing full and timely payments of migrant workers' wages, caring for the disadvantaged groups as well as implementing the responsibility systems for workplace safety.

Li Qiang, Zhao Leji, Wang Huning, Cai Qi, Ding Xuexiang and Li Xi, members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, attended the meeting.

Li Qiang made a concluding speech, putting forward requirements for implementing the spirit of Xi's important speech and doing a good job in the economic work next year.