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Key economic meeting held to plan for 2019

Writer: Xinhua  | Editor: Doria Nan  | From: Shenzhen Daily | Updated: 2018-12-24

The annual Central Economic Work Conference was held in Beijing from Wednesday to Friday, as Chinese leaders charted the course for the economy in 2019.

The country has “made new steps towards finishing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects,” according to a statement issued after the meeting.

“While fully acknowledging the achievements, we must see that there are new and worrisome developments amid generally steady economic operation,” the statement said.

However, it described the problems as part of development.

To turn pressure into impetus for high-quality development, China should speed up the optimization and upgrading of its economic structure, enhance the capability of technological innovation, deepen reform and opening up, accelerate green development and participate in the reform of the global economic governance system.

China will strengthen counter-cyclical adjustments in its macro policy, continue to implement the proactive fiscal policy and the prudent monetary policy, make pre-emptive adjustments and fine-tune policies at the proper times, and ensure stable aggregate demand, according to the statement.

Bolder and more effective measures must be taken to implement the proactive fiscal policy, with a larger scale of tax and fee cuts and a relatively substantial increase in the issuance of special-purpose local government bonds, the statement said.

China will keep the prudent monetary policy “neither too tight nor too loose” while maintaining market liquidity at a reasonably ample level, according to the statement.

Reforms in various fields including State-owned enterprises (SOEs), taxation and financing, land, market access and social management will be pushed forward, while the institutional environment will be improved to encourage fair competition and facilitate the accelerated development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Previous structural adjustments should be reinforced, with continued efforts to downsize glutted industries, reduce all types of business burdens and channel more energy into weak areas including infrastructure.

Micro market entities will be further motivated and energized, with the establishment of fair, open and transparent market rules and a law-based business environment.

Policymakers mapped out major economic tasks for the next year at the meeting.

High-quality manufacturing development will be put high on the work agenda, according to the statement.

Manufacturing technological innovation capacity will be strengthened with the establishment of an open, coordinated and effective platform for the research and development of generic technology.

SMEs will see greater support in innovation, and the protection and utilization of intellectual property rights will be enhanced.

While accelerating the development of the service industry, including education, childcare, elderly care, medicare, culture and tourism, China needs to improve its consumption environment and boost consumer spending.

With its tremendous potential in investment demand, the country must reinforce investment’s pivotal role, facilitate the upgrading of manufacturing technologies and devices, accelerate the commercial use of 5G networks, and create infrastructure for artificial intelligence, industrial Internet and the Internet of things.

The country should also encourage investment in intercity transport, logistics and municipal infrastructure, strengthen rural infrastructure construction and public service facilities, and improve natural-disaster preparedness.

On rural vitalization, China must prioritize developing agriculture and the rural economy, improve agricultural structure and increase supply of high-quality and green agricultural products, according to the statement.

The meeting also urged support for private companies by nurturing the legal environment and protecting private entrepreneurs’ personal and property safety.