The Chinese economy is poised for more vigorous growth after gathering new strength through upgrades in traditional industries and accelerating the growth of high-tech industries and emerging sectors.
The country will further expand market access with a nationally unified, annually released and timely adjusted negative list for more market vitality, according to the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s top economic regulator.
Meng Wei, spokeswoman of the commission, said at a media conference on May 17 that China has made steady progress in cultivating new momentum and promoting the transformation and upgrading of existing industries, thanks to measures to stimulate innovation, optimize the business environment and public services, and to strengthen opening-up and cooperation in the digital sector.
“China’s high-tech industries, represented by new technologies, new industries, and new products, have maintained rapid growth in recent months,” she said.
According to the commission, output in the high-tech manufacturing sector rose 8.7 percent year-on-year from January to April, 2.5 percentage points higher than that of industrial output. High-tech manufacturing output was responsible for 13.6 percent of industrial output, 1 percentage point higher year-on-year.
Output of the electronics and communication equipment manufacturing sector, pharmaceutical manufacturing and aerospace and equipment manufacturing were 10.8 percent, 7.2 percent, and 8.3 percent, respectively, registering significantly faster growth than industrial output.
The emerging service sector also grew very fast, Meng said.
In April, the information transmission industry, along with software and information technology services, grew 25 percent year-on-year, 17.6 percentage points higher than the national index of services.
Online retail sales amounted to 3.04 trillion yuan ($440.2 billion) in the first four months, a year-on-year increase of 17.8 percent. Around 17.07 billion parcels were delivered, up 24.8 percent over last year.
She said the transformation of traditional industries is speeding up as they combine with information technology.
“Through implementing national big data and internet plus strategies, internet, big data, and artificial intelligence technologies have been widely used in China’s real economy,” she said. “Both the digital industry and digitalization of other industries develop fast, and new sectors have been emerging, such as unmanned warehousing, facial recognition payments and new online-to-offline groceries.”
Meng also said that a new version of the nationally unified negative list for market access will be rolled out within 2019. Illegal or implicit entry barriers and locally issued negative lists will be canceled, she said.
The Chinese authorities will also establish and refine mechanisms for adjusting the annually released list when necessary, she said, adding that the list will better cope with the reforms to delegate power, streamline administration and optimize government services, and will better meet the needs of market entities for broader access.
Wang Yuanhong, deputy head of the Department of Economic Forecasting at the State Information Center, said the fast growth of high-tech industries and the service sector reflects the ongoing upgrading of traditional industries and the optimization of China’s economic structure, while the digitization of traditional industries and consumption provides new growth momentum, which all indicate a promising future of the Chinese economy.