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Highlights of 2024 government work report


 , Updated 15:37, 05-Mar-2024

The opening meeting of the second session of the 14th National People's Congress was held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Tuesday.

Premier Li Qiang, on behalf of the State Council, delivered a government work report to the top legislature for deliberation.

Here are some highlights of the work report:

Major targets of 2023 accomplished

China accomplished its major economic and social development targets and tasks of 2023, according to the report, with gross domestic product (GDP) expanding by 5.2 percent last year, ranking China among the fastest-growing major economies in the world.

The country created 12.44 million urban jobs in 2023, and the average surveyed urban unemployment rate stood at 5.2 percent. The consumer price index rose 0.2 percent, and a basic equilibrium was maintained in the balance of payments, the report said.

Growth target set at around 5 percent

China is targeting economic growth of around 5 percent in 2024. It has set its ratio of deficit to GDP at 3 percent for the year, with the government deficit forecast to rise by 180 billion yuan from the 2023 budget figure.

Over 12 million jobs are expected to be created in urban areas in 2024 with a surveyed urban unemployment rate target of around 5.5 percent. A total of 3.9 trillion yuan (about $542 billion) of special-purpose bonds for local governments will be issued in 2024, 100 billion yuan more than last year, the report added.

In addition, China will issue ultra-long special treasury bonds over each of the next several years for the purpose of implementing major national strategies and building up security capacity in key areas, starting with 1 trillion yuan of such bonds this year.

Market access restrictions on foreign investment in manufacturing abolished

All restrictions on foreign investment in China's manufacturing will be abolished, and market access restrictions in services sectors, such as telecommunications and healthcare, will be reduced, according to the report.

China will implement measures to ensure national treatment for foreign-funded enterprises. To pursue higher-standard opening up and promote mutual benefits, the country will promote alignment with high-standard international economic and trade rules, and steadily expand institutional opening up.

Work will also be done to make China a favored destination for foreign investment, the report said, adding that solid progress will be pursued in high-quality Belt and Road cooperation.

China also plans to deepen multilateral, bilateral and regional economic cooperation, and work toward joining the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Develop new quality productive forces at faster pace

China will strive to modernize the industrial system and develop new quality productive forces at a faster pace, according to the report, which listed a series of tasks in this respect.

The tasks included industrial and supply chain improvement and upgrading, and the cultivation of emerging industries and future-oriented industries such as hydrogen power, new materials, biomanufacturing, commercial spaceflight, quantum technology and life sciences. Innovative development of the digital economy will be promoted, and an AI Plus initiative to be launched.

The country will also consolidate and enhance its leading position in industries such as intelligent connected new-energy vehicles.

Ensure stable production, supply of agricultural products

China will step up efforts to ensure stable production and supply of grain and other major agricultural products, and all local governments must shoulder their share of responsibility for ensuring national food security, according to the report.

"We will keep working to consolidate and expand our achievements in poverty alleviation, to prevent people from falling back into poverty and see that no large-scale return to poverty occurs," the report said.

Promote green and low-carbon development

China will advance the energy revolution and actively and prudently work toward peaking carbon dioxide emissions and achieving carbon neutrality, according to the report.

The country will also aim to enhance ecological conservation and promote green and low-carbon development, including taking comprehensive steps to improve the environment and boosting the green and low-carbon economy.

(With input from Xinhua)

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