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Chinese regions launch renewed drive for high-quality growth


A Fuxing bullet train speeds along the Chengdu-Chongqing high-speed railway line in Chongqing, China, on May 24, 2023. /CFP
A Fuxing bullet train speeds along the Chengdu-Chongqing high-speed railway line in Chongqing, China, on May 24, 2023. /CFP

A Fuxing bullet train speeds along the Chengdu-Chongqing high-speed railway line in Chongqing, China, on May 24, 2023. /CFP

In an effort to kickstart the year with a focus on sustainable development, provinces throughout China have initiated a series of measures aimed at promoting innovation, enhancing business environments and expanding openness internationally.

These steps are part of a broader strategy to ensure economic stability and foster high-quality growth in 2024, aligning with directives issued at the country's annual Central Economic Work Conference held at the end of last year. Top officials at the conference underscored the pivotal role of China's major economic provinces in contributing more significantly to the national economy's stability.

In response, Chinese regions have recently outlined comprehensive task lists for 2024 in their "first meetings for the Chinese New Year," emphasizing industrial and technological innovation and the development of new competitive fields. The strategic importance of technological innovation in building a modern industrial system is a common theme among these plans.

South China's Guangdong Province, marking its position as the first province to surpass a GDP of 13 trillion yuan ($1.86 trillion) last year, has held its first meeting for the Chinese New Year dedicated to high-quality development.

At a provincial-level meeting on Sunday, officials highlighted Guangdong's critical mission in leading high-quality development, leveraging its substantial technological innovation resources and capabilities. The province has set an ambitious target of 5 percent GDP growth for 2024.

Other regions are similarly prioritizing the improvement of the business environment and the expansion of high-level international openness as key objectives for the year.

For instance, east China's Anhui Province held a meeting on Sunday focused on creating a top-tier business environment and advancing the high-quality development of the private sector, signaling these as central to the province's economic agenda for the year. This meeting also continued the tradition of recognizing outstanding entrepreneurs, a practice that has been maintained for three consecutive years.

Meanwhile, Liaoning Province's efforts to optimize its business environment include setting a goal to achieve economic growth rates above the national average. The northeastern province emphasized the need for swift action and efficiency in achieving economic milestones in the first quarter, aiming for a robust start to the year.

Professor Sun Chuanwang from Xiamen University's School of Economics told Economic Information Daily that the strategic emphases laid out in these early-year meetings reflect a targeted approach by the provinces to their developmental roles.

By focusing on specific areas to stabilize the overall situation and foster new capabilities, and by promoting structural adjustments and industrial upgrades, these initiatives are expected to significantly enhance the quality and sustainable growth of China's economy, Sun added.

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