China News Service, Beijing, February 27th: Facing “must-answer questions” to boost confidence

  China News Service reporter Li Xiaoyu

  "Take pragmatic and powerful actions to boost the confidence of the whole society."

On the first working day after the Spring Festival holiday in the Year of the Dragon, China's State Council began to discuss the government work report and issued a mobilization call to start work.

Boosting confidence is obviously a “must-answer” question at this year’s National Two Sessions.

Data map: Red flags fluttering in front of the Great Hall of the People.

To boost confidence, reasonable goals need to be set.

  How to set economic development goals has always been the focus of the National Two Sessions every year.

Last year, China's gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 5.2% year-on-year, ranking among the best among the world's major economies.

At a time when the world's economic recovery is "turning from warm to cold" and the external environment is grim and complex, how China builds a frame of reference for economic development this year has attracted particular attention.

  At the previous provincial and local two sessions, many places set “high standards” for this year’s economic development.

For example, Guangdong, China's largest economic province, had a year-on-year GDP growth of 4.8% last year and is targeting a higher 5% this year; Zhejiang has also raised its growth target from "above 5%" last year to "around 5.5%."

But the “high” goals are not limited to growth figures.

In response to the complex environment at home and abroad, some provinces have pragmatically lowered their GDP growth targets for this year, focusing on reform and innovation and improving people's livelihood, striving to make breakthroughs in high quality.

  Observations believe that this pragmatic and powerful thinking may continue to appear in the National Two Sessions.

At the end of last year, the Central Economic Work Conference set the tone for 2024 by "seeking progress while maintaining stability, promoting stability through advancement, and establishing before breaking."

Against this background, China will formulate the standards for various economic development projects this year based on its national conditions and reality, closely follow the difficulties and challenges it faces today, fully consider the need to stabilize expectations and boost confidence, and highlight the unity of speed and quality.

Data map: Workers work on the new energy vehicle production line.

Photo by Li Nanxuan

To boost confidence, we need to innovate development paths.

  In the context of insufficient domestic effective demand and overcapacity in some industries, accelerating the development of new productivity marked by a significant increase in total factor productivity is considered the only way for China to promote high-quality economic development and boost confidence.

Zhou Wen, a distinguished professor at Fudan University, said that once new productive forces are formed, they can provide strong impetus and support for high-quality economic development.

  Many provinces have stepped up their efforts to outline a roadmap for developing new productive forces.

For example, Tianjin's 2024 government work report proposes to fully promote technological innovation, industrial renewal, and urban renewal, and accelerate the formation of more new productive forces.

Jiangsu’s “First Meeting of the New Year” focuses on building an industrial science and technology innovation center with global influence, requiring that in terms of industrial innovation, we must not only pay attention to the future of the industry, but also lay out future industries and accelerate the development of new productivity.

  However, after various places have tried to "break the problem", the big article of developing new productive forces still needs to set the tone and fill in the details from a higher level.

  For example, under the background that the United States continues to promote "de-risking" and "decoupling and disconnection", how can China break through the tight encirclement and create an environment conducive to innovation; how can emerging industries and traditional industries develop collaboratively when the transformation of old and new economic drivers has not yet been completed; how can China use The government is promising, the market is effective, and the innovation efficiency of the whole society is released.

On these important issues, the outside world expects the National Two Sessions to give convincing answers.

To boost confidence, we need to focus on key groups.

  As a contributor to more than 60% of China's GDP and more than 80% of urban employment, the healthy development of the private economy is related to the overall economic situation and is also a key focus of boosting confidence.

  At present, due to factors such as changes in the market environment, some entrepreneurs have a wait-and-see mood.

A survey by the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce shows that the proportion of private entrepreneurs who said they will expand investment in 2024 has risen to more than 40%, which is 8.8 percentage points higher than the proportion of actual new investment enterprises last year, but still less than half.

  Actions to stimulate the vitality of private enterprises are already on the way.

During the local two sessions before the Spring Festival, "private economy" became a hot word; after the holiday, various places focused on the "first session of the New Year" to fight for the economy, and promoting the development of the private economy was also a major focus.

Many provinces have mentioned the need to further optimize the business environment and protect the rights and interests of private enterprises and entrepreneurs in accordance with the law.

This optimization is not only reflected in infrastructure, life services, etc., but also in improving the basic market economy systems such as property rights protection, market access, and fair competition, so as to truly achieve smooth access, openness, orderliness, and sufficient competition.

  To promote the development and growth of the private economy and create a business environment that allows companies to feel at ease, a series of major measures have been implemented since last year.

It is worth looking forward to what precise designs will be made in this year's Chinese government work report, and what insights the representative committee will contribute.

  The plan for the year begins with spring.

From the central to local governments, China is taking proactive policies and powerful actions to face the "must-answer questions" to boost confidence.

I believe that in this March, the answer will be clearer.