SHANGHAI–China’s central communist party has issued a blueprint of its latest five-year plan, outlining the proposals that will guide the country’s development from 2016 to 2020 as economic growth slows.
The goal of the 13th five-year plan, according to the document, is to build a “moderately prosperous” society by this period’s end, wording which signals a shift in the Chinese government’s focus from breakneck growth to a more stable model, encompassing “medium-high economic growth, higher living standards and a better quality environment.”
The public was already familiar with many of the proposals, as they were released in a communiqué following the close of the party’s fifth plenary session of the current central committee, held in Beijing last week. The plan is expected to boost e-commerce and local fashion brands.
Basic tenants of the plan include poverty alleviation, with aims to double 2010 GDP and the 2010 per capita income of both urban and rural residents by 2020, the further reform of state-owned enterprises, the acceleration of financial reform and the increased urbanization of China, so that a total of 45 percent of the population will live in cities by 2020 (up from 36 percent in 2014).
China’s president Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang have both said China’s GDP growth target will be revised from its current level of 7 percent, to 6.5 percent over the next five years, according to reports in local media.
Advanced manufacturing and the development of new industrial sectors, particularly the services sector, will be promoted, as will technology and innovation, a continuation of the focus on these industries from the 12th five-year plan, which concludes this year.
While meeting with participants, including international political leaders, intellectuals and entrepreneurs, at the Understanding China Conference in Beijing on Tuesday, President Xi Jinping said China’s continuing reform and opening-up will be good not only for his country, but also for the world at large.
“China’s 13th five-year plan cannot be realized without substantial cooperation from the world,” Xi said.
“We will continue to deepen reform in various areas, stick to a peaceful development road and an open strategy, and let the world benefit.”
Following on from moves to devalue the yuan in July of this year, the government will also continue to increase the convertibility of its currency over the next five years. As with the country’s Free Trade Zones, foreign currency exchange will operate on a “negative list” system, which considerably frees up the potential for exchange, except for actions that are specifically banned. If the experience of the FTZs is anything to go by, the list will gradually lower the number of banned actions as authorities become more comfortable with the impacts of currency liberalization.
The environment is also a major focus of the coming years, with the proposal promising an “energy revolution”. China will look to lessen its reliance on fossil fuels, explore deposits of natural gas and subject major polluting industries to carbon emission regulations.