CBN Friday Special丨Chinese provinces race to get head-start on economic boost after Spring Festival

2023年02月03日 22:51   21世纪经济报道 21财经APP   李莹亮

The spring of 2023 is everything but ordinary. 

Localities across China pressed the start button of the Year of the Rabbit with economic meetings chaired by leading government officials to encourage growth and spur recovery from the impact of COVID-19 on Saturday, the first working day after the week-long Spring Festival holidays.

As the central government has vowed to focus on achieving rapid economic recovery after optimizing pandemic response, local meetings, from South China's Guangdong Province to Northeast China's Jilin Province, mapped out specific measures aimed at accelerating domestic consumption recovery, improving local business environment and stabilizing foreign trade and investment.

Guangdong Province, an economic powerhouse with GDP growth of 1.9 percent in 2022, is eyeing growth at 5 percent for 2023 and an 8 percent increase of the fixed-assets investment. 

The province has been known for its manufacturing industry worldwide with the industrial output exceeding 16 trillion yuan. More than 700 thousand manufacturers have settled in the province. In 2023, Guangdong will foster modern industries, promote industrial investment and construct industrial platforms to further high-quality development. It will boost the growth of industrial investment to above 10 percent and help 9000 industrial enterprises to upgrade technologies. 

Guangdong will focus on the 20 strategic industries and enhance the 8 industrial clusters with 1 trillion yuan output, including electronic information, green petrochemicals, smart home appliances, advanced materials, modern light industry and textiles, software and information services, modern agriculture and food, and automobiles. It will also foster 3 more industrial clusters with 1 trillion yuan output and more than 4 with 500 billion yuan output.

Many provincial-level regions have announced measures to speed up the construction of key projects in 2023, especially in fields such as new energy, new materials, new technology, water resource management and transportation, which will inject impetus into the economy.

On Jan. 28, Shanghai’s Huangpu district announced 24 major projects, and 15 of them began the same day. The total investment exceeds 55.3 billion yuan. Moreover, the city's Yangpu district held a signing ceremony for key projects involving around 50 billion yuan in total spending.

On the same day, central China's Henan province started building over 1,270 projects worth 1.6 trillion yuan, involving infrastructure, urbanization, and digital economy. Moreover, Xiong’an New Area in Hebei province is planning to construct 43 projects worth 41.6 billion yuan in the first quarter.

There is significant potential for investment growth this year and in the future, experts noted, adding that regions are highly motivated to push infrastructure projects, and those related to transportation, energy, and water conservancy will be carried out steadily.

Driven by the continuous enhancement in support policies and the recovery of market demand, analysts predicted that the growth rate of emerging infrastructure investment is expected to range from 15 percent to 20 percent, which is 10 to 15 percentage points higher than the growth of general infrastructure investment.

Other regions have revealed similar plans. Guangdong province proposed to arrange 1,530 provincial key projects this year, with a total investment of about 8.4 trillion yuan. Northwestern China's Shaanxi province intends to implement 71 major infrastructure projects in 2023, with a total investment of 719.9 billion yuan, up 27 percent from a year earlier.

More incentive measures, including boosting consumption and optimizing the business environment, are also on the way.

An action plan consisting of 10 points was released by the Shanghai municipal government on Sunday. According to the plan, three tasks — boosting confidence, expanding demand and seeking stable growth — are imperative, with the city aiming to achieve above 5.5 percent GDP growth in 2023. 

Specific measures include improving housing and medical policies to attract talent, subsidies for new energy vehicles and green smart home appliances, with 10,000 yuan for each electric vehicle and a one-time subsidy of up to 1,000 yuan for green and smart home appliance purchases, in a bid to boost consumption.

In neighboring Zhejiang Province, a major center of manufacturing, top government officials vowed to innovate and improve the quality of the digital economy and accelerate the implementation of major projects. 

It also launched a global "Invest in Zhejiang" tour on January 9, shortly after China started to remove most of its Covid curbs at the end of November. The first stop was in Hong Kong on January 10.

Zhejiang province is also striving to attract foreign investments. In a bilingual letter to foreign-invested companies, Zhejiang's commerce department head Han Jie wrote that in 2023, the province will "attract global investment and cooperation with resolve, extraordinary measures and great efforts." The Hangzhou government will organize at least 30 outbound groups for overseas investment in the first quarter, while the Jiaxing government has sent out four groups and received investment agreements for five projects.

These actions show many governments are taking a more pro-growth stance, which will give a strong boost to the economy in 2023.

China's swiftly restart of work following the Spring Festival holidays came as international institutions, investors and financial institutions were buoyed by the country's economic outlook, seeing the recovery gain traction. It is clearly reflected by an ever so strong influx of northbound capital that reached over 140 billion yuan in January, the highest monthly net inflows in 10 years and the first monthly net inflows of more than 100 billion yuan.

According to the IMF latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) report released on Jan 31, China's economic growth is forecast to accelerate to 5.2 percent this year, thanks to the government's adjustment of its COVID-19 policy and the easing of monetary and fiscal policies.
























Executive Editor: Sonia YU

Editor: LI Yanxia

Host: Stephanie LI

Writer: Stephanie LI 

Sound Editor: Stephanie LI

Graphic Designer: ZHENG Wenjing, LIAO Yuanni

Produced by 21st Century Business Herald Dept. of Overseas News.

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