Home World NewsChina Provincial-level regions set GDP targets at about, above 5% for 2024

Provincial-level regions set GDP targets at about, above 5% for 2024

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As of Wednesday, 31 provincial-level regions in China had announced GDP growth targets of about or above 5 percent for 2024, as stronger momentum is expected to be unleashed in the new year.

South China’s Guangdong Province, East China’s Shandong and Jiangsu provinces, as well as other economic powerhouses set targets around or above 5 percent. South China’s Hainan Province and Southwest China’s Xizang Autonomous Region set targets of around 8 percent, the highest levels nationwide.

Innovation will be among the driving forces of economic growth in 2024, experts said.

The trade and manufacturing hub Guangdong Province, for example, aims to establish future industrial clusters involving the foundations of 6G technology, quantum technology, life sciences and humanoid robots, according to media reports.

Shanghai, which is at the forefront of China’s opening-up, plans to upgrade its new-energy vehicle sector and promote advanced materials innovation and production, among other efforts.

Against the backdrop of innovation drives and other factors, some 20 provinces and cities set targets at or above 5.5 percent in 2024, and 13 provinces raised their targets compared with the actual growth rates in 2023.

Provinces also disclosed their economic achievements in 2023, with most of them achieving a robust recovery in the first year after the pandemic.

Among them, Xizang’s GDP growth rate stood at 9.5 percent, followed by Hainan’s 9.2 percent. Both took the lead in provincial GDP growth rates in 2023.

A consumption recovery and the intensified role of being a free trade hub helped drive Hainan’s growth. Xizang’s economy was driven by multiple factors, including an improved market environment and job creation efforts by the local government, the provincial-level government announced.

Another highlight was Guangdong’s GDP in 2023, which exceeded 13.57 trillion yuan ($1.9 trillion), a year-on-year gain of 4.8 percent. It was the first province to surpass the benchmark of 13 trillion yuan, and it topped the nation’s GDP growth ranks for the 35th year in a row.

Most of the provincial GDP growth rates were within expectations, considering the special economic situation last year, the first year of recovery since the downgraded pandemic response, Li Changan, a professor at the Academy of China Open Economy Studies of the University of International Business and Economics, told the Global Times on Thursday.

“The main drivers of last year’s economic growth included supportive policies that helped to unleash domestic consumption, as well as measures for high-quality development from the central to the local government levels, with consideration of local industrial development characteristics,” Li said.

Li said that provincial targets of around or above 5 percent this year are reasonable, as the market situation for the new year will be more relaxed, with the effects of support policies gradually coming into play.

Focusing on promoting innovation in advanced technology and advanced manufacturing will be crucial to secure sustainable economic growth, the expert said.

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