Beijing fosters new momentums for high-quality growth
Updated 19:30, 17-Jan-2019
Beijing's GDP was estimated at more than three trillion yuan (around 441 billion U.S. dollars) last year, making it the second Chinese city crossing this threshold following Shanghai.
Beijing mayor Chen Jining said Monday the city set its economic growth target at 6-6.5 percent for 2019, compared with last year's of about 6.5 percent.
"Beijing is in a critical period of urban renewal and high-quality development," Chen said while delivering the annual government work report at the meeting of the annual session of the Beijing Municipal People's Congress.
The Chinese capital is fostering new momentum for high-quality growth powered by non-capital functions removal, innovation, further opening-up  and more tax cuts.

Non-capital functions removal

An aerial view of Beijing's Tongzhou District, the Chinese capital's new sub-center./VCG Photo

An aerial view of Beijing's Tongzhou District, the Chinese capital's new sub-center./VCG Photo

The work of relieving Beijing of functions nonessential to its role as the country's capital has progressed remarkably in 2018, Chen said.
A total of 656 manufacturing companies in the city were shut down, and more than 200 markets and logistics centers were relocated last year.
In 2019, more than 300 manufacturing firms and 66 markets and logistics centers, usually high-polluting or low-end industries, will be phased out or moved to nearby regions.
The removal of non-capital functions from Beijing is part of a greater strategy to integrate the development of Beijing, and Tianjin Municipality and Hebei Province, both in north China, for a better economic structure, cleaner environment, and improved public services.

Innovation and high-tech sectors

Zhao Hong, vice-president of the Beijing Academy of Social Sciences, pointed out that innovation and high-tech sectors could power the high-quality growth.
Beijing had 25,000 national high-tech enterprises in 2018, up 25 percent year on year. On average, 199 innovative startups opened in the city every day, according to the government work report.
In 2019, the municipal government will continue to expand global channels for attracting science and technology talent, encourage universities to beef up the building of innovation centers, and give support to young and innovative entrepreneurs.
"In addition, Beijing can create a more friendly-business environment to tap into the market potential and stimulate high-quality growth," Zhao said.
VCG Photo

VCG Photo

Further opening-up

Beijing will release new measures involving foreign exchange management reforms, cross-border use of the yuan, and investment and financing facilitation in 2019.
International financial institutions such as banks, insurers, securities, and fund firms, as well as professional service organizations covering such fields as accountancy, auditing, assessment, and credit rating are welcome to set up regional headquarters or affiliated agencies in Beijing.
Last year, Beijing's actual use of foreign capital surpassed 16 billion U.S. dollars. Meanwhile, a total of 618 foreign talent have obtained permanent residency.

More tax cuts 

Chen said the capital will continue to cut taxes for small- and micro-enterprises as well as start-ups, in addition to about 18.8 billion yuan of tax cuts in 2018.
Xu Zewei, chairman of 91 Technology Group and a deputy to the Beijing Municipal People's Congress, said compared with government subsidies, tax cuts can benefit more companies and help them save operating costs.
"Companies can put the money saved into research and development or use it to tap into new markets," Xu said.
In addition, to boost consumption in the night-time economy, Beijing will encourage malls, supermarkets, and convenient stores to extend their business hours this year, the work report said.
Source(s): Xinhua News Agency