'International consumption centers' boost 'dual circulation'
The authorities' decision to develop Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Tianjin and Chongqing into "international consumption center cities" has prompted a host of other Chinese cities to publish plans to realize the same goal.
How to unleash the country's consumption potential of its huge population in order to build a new development paradigm has become a major task for China.
To unleash the consumption potential, the government not only needs to adopt new consumption policies and promote institutional innovation at the national level, but also make greater efforts to achieve major breakthroughs in many other areas.
A major reason why Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Tianjin and Chongqing will be developed into international consumption centers is that they have a good consumption base, a well developed consumption structure, sufficient supply of services and diversified business forms.
Developing these cities into international consumption centers is necessary to promote the "dual circulation" development paradigm, given that this will not only create new growth drivers for the pilot cities but also help build a stronger domestic market.
Considering that the consumption of services is expected to account for 55-60 percent of the country's total consumption in the next five to 10 years, the five cities should focus on increasing service-oriented consumption.
They should also improve their consumption environment, provide standardized, internationalized and personalized consumer services, and accelerate the formation of basic institutional arrangements for protecting consumers' rights and interests and resolving disputes.
To unleash their consumption potential, the cities will need to implement not only demand side reform including taking measures to increase household incomes, but also supply side reform such as boosting supply.
To become international consumption centers, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Tianjin and Chongqing will have to serve global consumers, boost the flow of capital and improve the logistics sector.
They should also take steps to improve the efficiency of resource allocation and promote internationalized rules, norms, standards and the management of products and services, and expedite market-oriented reform and higher-level opening-up.
This is the basic institutional arrangement for building international consumption centers, and the breakthrough to be made by the five cities will set an example for other cities to follow.