China plans to build sports into a 'pillar' industry

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Children take part in a snow hockey competition in Beijing's Yuyuantan Park in January. [Photo/Xinhua]

The State Council issued an outline to empower the country's sports industry on Sept 2, aimed at forging the sports industry into a pillar of the national economy by 2035.

Pillar industries play a pivotal role, said Li Jianming, deputy director-general of the General Administration of Sport of China. He added that by following the outline, the scale of the sports industry is expected to increase to 4 percent of China's GDP by 2035.

Statistics from the China's National Bureau of Statistics show a growth rate of the added value of the nation's sports industry reached 24.6 percent from 2014 to 2017 based on a per-year average, a robust figure.

The added value of the sports industry currently accounts for around 1 percent of the country's GDP, far lower than the 2 to 3 percent in developed countries according to a report by Beijing Business Today. But with the current growth rate, the scale of the sports industry is expected to exceed 5 trillion yuan ($696.16 billion), reaching huge market potential in sporting goods and equipment.

Li said the outline consists of three development stages in 2020, 2035 and 2050, with six dimensions covering public sports, adolescent participation, athletics, industry, culture and international sports exchanges.

The outline also offers solutions and policy guides on mass fitness development, introducing a combined mechanism between markets and the nation. It also highlights the importance of traditional Chinese sport culture, and requests to improve the international influence in sports.

The outline is deemed, for the first time, to have set up the framework for how to build a strong sporting country, the report read, citing industry insiders.

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