Gearing up and powering forward

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China Today, June 24, 2022
Adjust font size:
A ship is loaded with electric cars produced by U.S. automaker Tesla's Shanghai Gigafactory, before leaving for Slovenia from a port in east China's Shanghai, on May 11, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

Tiding over the shockwaves of months of COVID-19 resurgence across the country, China's economy is bouncing back, newly-released economic data showed. 

China's value-added industrial output went up 0.7% year on year in May, reversing the 2.9% decline in April, an uplifting sign that manufacturing activities rebounded. The purchasing managers' index—a key gauge of manufacturing activity—reached 49.6 in May, up from 47.4 in April. Meanwhile, the country's foreign trade increased by 9.6% year on year to 3.45 trillion yuan in May, which brought the country's foreign trade volume in the first five months to 16.04 trillion yuan, swelling by 8.3% year on year, outperforming the 7.9% growth in the January-April period, according to the General Administration of Customs. 

Those positive changes came after a slew of policies and measures put in place by different levels of government. The State Council unveiled 33 measures in late May to stabilize the economy, covering policies on investment, consumption, food and energy security, industrial and supply chains, as well as people's livelihoods. Tax refunds and fee cuts have been implemented, social security contribution payments allowed to be postponed, and industrial and supply chains unchoked. In addition, infrastructure spending has sped up to boost investment. 

Local governments have also worked out moves tailored specifically for their region in a bid to reduce COVID-induced impacts on local economy as much as possible. Having emerged from weathering the recent resurgence of the virus, Shanghai decided to expand subsidies for enterprises' epidemic prevention and disinfection, and to reduce rent, property tax, and urban land use tax for qualified firms. Beijing unveiled the plan to halve the vehicle purchase tax for passenger cars with an engine capacity of 2.0 liters or less, purchased at the VAT-exclusive price of no more than 300,000 yuan between June 1 and Dec. 31 this year, in a bid to revive bulk consumption. In Hainan, a province vying to become the country's largest free trade port, 20 million yuan of vouchers have been distributed to spur offshore duty-free shopping, and over 100 million yuan of vouchers issued to shore up the recovery of tourism and the catering sector. 

Observers noted that these growth-boosting measures are not just geared for immediate economic gains, but will also benefit long-term development. 

In order to further enhance effective investment and boost consumption and employment, China will step up efforts to encourage private investment according to a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on June 15. China will also launch initiatives to end unnecessary charges levied on businesses, and postpone payments for governmental administrative charges. 

Thanks to a raft of measures that have been taken to keep the job market stable, China has helped 1.96 million jobless people return to the workforce in the first five months of the year, according to Li Zhong, vice minister of Human Resources and Social Security. The country has also paid out 33.4 billion yuan in insurance benefits to 5.6 million unemployed people in the first five months as China extends policies to expand the coverage of unemployment insurance throughout this year, the vice minister indicated. 

Stable foreign trade and investment was emphasized by Premier Li Keqiang at the State Council Executive Meeting on June 8. Noting that the Chinese economy is now deeply integrated into the world, Li stressed that all the measures to ensure stable foreign trade and investment must hit the ground running without delay. According to the meeting, more efforts will be made to open up wider, and more support will be extended to stabilize foreign trade and investment. As regards to specific measures, efficiency of port loading, unloading, transshipment, and customs clearance will be enhanced; temporary reduction or exemption of port-related charges will also be explored. 

Foreign investors have shown their confidence in the prospect of China's economy. German company Merck Group announced in May that it would invest in building an advanced semiconductor integrated base, including a manufacturing base, a warehouse, and an operation center in the city of Zhangjiagang, east China's Jiangsu province. The move comes as part of Merck's plan to double its investment in China to expand its electronics business by spending over 1 billion yuan by 2025, according to a Xinhua report. 

"Global investors are returning to China's stock markets," the U.K.-based newspaper Financial Times reported in an article published on June 3. China expanded access to its onshore bond markets in May, providing offshore investors with a way into renminbi debt through Hong Kong's Bond Connect program. "This opening-up is supportive for long-term asset allocation to China," Jenny Zeng, co-head of Asia-Pacific fixed income at AllianceBernstein, was quoted as saying in the article. 

In the mid-year "618" shopping spree, China's e-commerce giant set a new sales record of 379.3 billion yuan. "Overall, we are confident that the appetite for consumption in China remains strong," said Sharry Wu, Greater China consulting business transformation leader of the U.K.-based professional service-provider Ernst & Young Global Limited , in an article published by the American business news channel CNBC on June 16. "As cities reopen, we should expect a huge boost in online consumption," Wu indicated. 

The country's efforts to coordinate dynamic COVID control with economic and social development are paying off. 

Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from