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The Biggest Certainty in the Uncertain World Chinese Economy Ushers in a Promising Era
(By Chinese Ambassador Liao Liqiang)
2021/05/19

The outbreak and continued surging of COVID-19 have thrown the global economy into uncertainty.Faced with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic during winter and spring as well as uncertainties in the external environment, 1.4 billion Chinese people have all worked under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, consolidated and expanded the progress on epidemic prevention and socio-economic development. China's national economy delivered a stable performance with a consolidated foundation and a good momentum of growth. Gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter increased by 18.3% year on year at comparable prices, marking the highest quarterly growth since the statistics began.

Highlights in main indicators of Chinese Economy.First, employment remains stable on the whole. China’s surveyed urban unemployment rate averaged 5.4 percent in Q1 2021, 0.4 percentage points lower than the same period last year, and 2.97 million new jobs were created.

Second,industrial production rebounds steadily. Total value added of industrial enterprises above the designated size increased 24.5 percent on a yearly basis in the first quarter. Industrial electricity consumption and railway freight volume increased by 23.9% and 13.9% respectively. The utilization rate of industrial capacity reached the highest for the same period since 2013.

Third, new growth drivers are gaining momentum. The added value of high-tech manufacturing grew by 31.2 percent, and new-energy vehicles (NEVs)output increased by 3.1 times.

Fourth, market vitality has been effectively stimulated.2.792 million tax-related market entities were newly registered in the first quarter nationwide, seeing a year- on-year growth of 86 percent.

Fifth, foreign trade and foreign investment increased significantly. Imports and exports of goods grew noticeably and the trade structure continued to improve. The total value of exports was 4.6140 trillion Yuan, up by 38.7% year on year; and that of imports was 3.8547 trillion Yuan, up by 19.3% year on year. FDI into the Chinese mainland surged 39.9 percent year on year in actual use to 302.47 billion Yuan in the first quarter.

Sixth, investment and consumption recovered steadily.The investment in fixed assets (excluding rural households) reached 9.5994 trillion Yuan, up by 25.6% over last year. the total retail sales of consumer goods reached 10,522.1 billion Yuan, up by 33.9% year on year.

Seventh, market confidence and expectations have improved markedly. The purchasing managers' index (PMI) for China's manufacturing sector came in at 51.9 in March, edging up from 50.6 in February. Non-manufacturing purchasing managers index stood at 56.3%, which was 4.9 percentage points higher than that in February.

Eighth, people's living standards has beensteadily improved.In the first quarter, the per capita disposable income of residents nationwide was 9,730 Yuan, increased by 13.7% year on year. 80.9 percent days have been rated as good air quality.

Sustained and stable development engine. Since the beginning of this year, China has made major efforts in the following areas to effectively address major short-term difficulties and provide sustained and stable impetus for economic development. First, Chinastrengthens the “job-first” policy. We support the healthy development of new forms of employment, protect the legitimate rights and interests of people who have flexible employment, and continue to provide better employment services to key groups such as college graduates, veteran and rural migrant workers.

Second, China is furtherlifting the burden on market participants. Chinahas encouraged people to start businesses and make innovations. China takes concrete measures to reduce taxes and fees for small and micro enterprises(SMEs), and ensure that tax cuts are fully implemented.

Third, China isoptimizing the overall business environment to promote fair competition.The government persist reform efforts to streamline administration, delegate power and improve services. Document materials, procedures and costs involved in enterprise approvals are largely reduced.China is strengthening and making innovation in regulating the Interim and Post-Event Supervision. New measures are introduced including action plans of building a high-standard market system, and issuing anti-monopoly guidelines on the platform companies.

Fourth, China has been advancing high-level opening up. China has implemented policies to support foreign trade and investment, make solid progress in building a pilot free trade zone and speed up the building ofHainan Free Trade Port, and achieve phased results. We have made good preparations for the implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and made remarkable progress in advancing Belt And Road Initiativeand international economic and trade cooperation.In addition, solid progress has been achieved in urbanization,regional developmentstrategies, capacity building for scientific and technological innovation. China is now promoting high-quality development of the manufacturing industry, and made new strides in rural revitalization and agricultural and rural modernization.

China's rapid economic growth has injected impetus and confidence into world economy. Now the world economy is full of uncertainties, but China's future is certain. China's robust economic growth in the first quarter of this year reflects the extraordinary resilience and sustained momentum of the Chinese economy. The measures proposed by the Chinese government to achieve "Belt And Road" high-quality cooperation and promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation will further deepen mutually beneficial cooperation with countries around the world, including Egypt, and inject strong impetus into global economic recovery.

Although the world economy is still in the dark cloud of uncertaintycaused by the epidemic, I believe people around the world will find silver lining and gain confidence from China's economic recovery.On the one hand, China's economic recovery shows that as long as all countries focus on their ownbusiness, strengthen international cooperation and draw on each other's strengths, the epidemic can be brought under control and the economy can recover soon.On the other hand, as an important engine driving global trade and economic recovery, China is the world's largest consumer market. The resumption of China's economic growth has provided broad space for the development of global businesses and promoted the stability of the international industrial chain, thus bringing real opportunities and benefits to all nations.

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