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Full Text: China's economic, social development plan
Posted: March-21-2008Adjust font size:

II. Overall Requirements and Major Objectives for Economic and Social Development in 2008

In pursuing economic and social development in 2008, we must fully implement the guidelines adopted at the Seventeenth Party Congress, hold high the great banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics, take Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of Three Represents as our guide and thoroughly apply the Scientific Outlook on Development. We will focus our efforts on transforming the pattern of economic development and improving the socialist market economy. We will continue to strengthen and improve macroeconomic regulation, work vigorously to advance reform and opening up and strengthen the country's capacity for independent innovation, and work hard to improve the economic structure and quality of economic growth. We must intensify efforts to save energy, reduce emissions and protect the environment. More attention will be paid to enhancing people's well being and promoting social harmony as we strive for sound and fast economic development.

In view of the above requirements and what is needed versus what is possible, and in conformity with the Outline of the Eleventh Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development, we have set the following major objectives for economic and social development in 2008:

- Raising the quality of economic growth. We need to further improve the economic structure, accelerate the development of tertiary industry, increase the contribution of high-tech industries to the economy and increase R&D expenditures as a percentage of GDP to 1.6%. Energy consumption per unit of GDP, sulfur dioxide emissions and chemical oxygen demand should fall by a larger margin than last year. Government revenue and corporate profits are expected to grow steadily. On the basis of structural improvement, improved efficiency, lower energy consumption and environmental protection measures, China's GDP is expected to grow by about 8% in 2008. A major reason for introducing the above targets for economic development is to communicate to society the government's regulatory intentions and guide all sectors to focus their work and attention on transforming the pattern of development, improving the quality of economic growth, saving energy and reducing emissions in order to achieve both sound and fast development. All local authorities should set targets for local GDP growth at an appropriate level in line with local conditions and avoid blind competition and setting targets at each administrative level that are too high.

- Continuing to improve people's lives. Urban employment should expand by 10 million new jobs and the urban registered unemployment rate should stay at about 4.5%. The incomes of urban and rural residents should continue to increase fairly fast. Per capita net income of rural residents should increase by 6% or more in real terms. The new system of rural cooperative medical care should cover all rural areas and will receive more subsidies from the central and local government budgets. The number of rural people living in poverty should be reduced by 2 million or more. Fiscal guarantees to ensure adequate funding for compulsory education in rural areas will be strengthened. The program of free education for urban students taking compulsory education will be fully instituted. Natural population growth should stay within 0.7%. The major factors taken into consideration in setting the above goals are: national economic growth has been steady and fast for several years in a row, the financial strength of the country has further increased, the performance of enterprises has markedly improved and the impact of the vigorous employment policy is becoming increasingly noticeable. In addition, the implementation of policy measures to promote increase in people's incomes, especially that of farmers, and strengthen the social safety net has made it necessary and created the conditions for us to further expand employment, increase the incomes of urban and rural residents and address issues affecting people's well being such as education and medical care.

- Keeping price rises within a reasonable range. The CPI increase should stay at around 4.8%. The main factors taken into consideration in setting this goal are as follows. Price hikes last year will have a carry-over effect on prices this year. Domestic prices for non-staple agricultural products and factors of production such as labor, land and resources are on the increase. Mounting international prices for grain, soybeans, petroleum, iron ore and other primary products have had a big impact on the domestic market. In addition to other factors contributing to price rises, the above considerations make it unrealistic to set the target for CPI growth too low. On the other hand, we cannot set the target too high if we are to prevent structural price rises from leading to marked inflation, ensure that the basic needs of the people, particularly those of low-income people, can still be met, and maintain stability in the market and in society. Furthermore, the government is following a prudent fiscal policy and a tight monetary policy, and continuing to work to curb the excessive growth of fixed asset investment and improve the balance of payments, creating an excellent macro environment for preventing the overall price level from rising too fast. We have enjoyed years of bumper harvests and domestic supply and demand of major farm products have been basically well balanced. As measures are implemented to support hog production, oilseed cultivation and the dairy industry, supply should increase even more in these areas. Government revenue has been growing substantially year on year and the country has ample foreign exchange reserves. This has enabled us to rely on domestic reserves and an appropriate amount of imports as needed to ensure adequate market supply. All the above have put us in a favorable position to avoid marked inflation this year.

- Improving the balance of payments. The rapid growth in the trade surplus should weaken to some degree and China's external investment should expand steadily. The current international environment should remain favorable overall and domestic enterprises and their products are becoming more competitive, so exports should continue to grow at an appropriate pace. In addition, as policies limiting the export of resource products and products whose manufacture is energy intensive and highly polluting and policies encouraging imports and trade in services begin to take hold, the volume of imports should appropriately increase, the import and export mix should improve and the trade imbalance should ease.

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Source:Editor: Lydia
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