Ministries list priorities for 2024, put emphasis on forward planning
Published: Jan 01, 2024 10:33 PM
The National Development and Reform Commission Photo: VCG

The National Development and Reform Commission Photo: VCG

Chinese ministries rolled out their policy stances on the first day of 2024, listing their priorities for work in the new year, ranging from strengthening economic monitoring and early warning mechanisms to promoting the development of the private economy and speeding up the construction of basic infrastructure for 5G, data centers and hash rates. 

Industry insiders said those work priorities have sent an unmistakable signal on the country's stepped-up efforts to shore up the economy in 2024, building on the solid recovery momentum last year.

While there is arguably policy consistency from 2023, observers expect more targeted fiscal and monetary policies, so as to lead to more growth drivers to navigate the economy amid rising external headwinds.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the country's top economic planner, said in an article published in the Qiushi Journal, a flagship magazine of the CPC Central Committee on Monday, that it will strengthen economic analyses and policy research to consolidate and enhance the continued economic recovery. 

The economic planner said it would strengthen economic monitoring, forecasting and early warning mechanisms and advance policy reserves, promote the innovation and coordination of policy tools, increase macro-control efforts and strengthen counter-cyclical and inter-cyclical adjustment of macro policies.

It also vowed to strengthen the consistency of macro policy orientation, as well as strengthen policy coordination among different areas including fiscal, monetary, employment, industry, investment, consumption, price, regional, science and technology, and environmental protection.

It also outlined other work focuses of the NDRC, including two "unswerving pushes" to deepen the reform of state-owned enterprises and promote the growth of the private economy. 

It urged the use of high standards of national treatment for foreign-invested enterprises, to "make state-owned enterprises dare to work hard, private enterprises dare to take chances, and foreign enterprises dare to invest."

China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said in an article published in the Qiushi Journal on Monday that the ministry will foster the country's manufacturing digital industrial upgrade this year. It also emphasized the urgent need to promote innovative applications of artificial intelligence and draft policies on the sector's industrial application.    

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 Monday that there's an emphasis on forward planning and deployment to "prepare the country for foreseeable challenges and external shockwaves this year."

Another policy focus is to create new growth points in modern manufacturing and high-tech sectors, according to Li, with more targeted policies to effectively shore up domestic demand. 

Observers said that the priorities show Chinese policymakers have a clear understanding of the country's economic situation and are correspondingly organizing the 2024 economic work plan based on the blueprint charted out by the Central Economic Work Conference in December.

The tone-setting work conference has outlined steps to tackle challenges facing the economy, further promote and consolidate the economic recovery, and ensure effective improvement in quality and reasonable growth in quantity in 2024.

Economists said that if the policies are appropriate, there's a good chance that China would reach 5 percent GDP growth in 2024, which would be very impressive given the sheer size of the economy.

Global Times