Business / Economy

A new course of growth for China

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-09-11 09:08

Though China has fewer advantages in labor costs than before as a result of an aging population, labor costs for higher-end industries have fallen as many more people have received college education, Liu explained.

College graduates made up 8.9 percent of the population in 2010, up from 3.6 percent in 2000, according to the last national census. Even if the ratio had not increased since 2010, it would still mean about 120 million people with college education in China, nearly equivalent to the whole population of Japan.

That advantage in human resources will pave the way for China's upgrade to higher-end industries, Liu said.

China already has some innovative companies of global fame, like Alibaba, Lenovo and Xiaomi, as well as other internationally competitive firms in high-tech and emerging industries, Huang noted.

"Though their total scale is not big enough to prop up overall national growth yet, it's only a matter of time until they mature and form a new pillar of the economy", he said.

Consumption shift

Jeff Walters, partner and managing director of Boston Consulting Group, observed an obvious transition by China's economy from the investment-led mode to consumption-led mode.

Consumption now contributes to more than 60 percent of economic growth, while the service sector accounts for half of GDP, Premier Li said at the Dalian forum.

China's retail sales continued to grow quite strongly, increasing 10.5 percent year on year to 2.43 trillion yuan in July.

Walters attributed the strength in consumption to income growth and high employment numbers, while noting a change of consumption pattern.

"We really see shifting growth from offline to online, and also from the emerging middle class to upper-middle class," he said.

Online sales jumped 37 percent year on year in the first seven months.

In the past decade, the emergence of a middle class drove a lot of consumption growth, but now a higher-income class is driving higher-end consumption like buying cars and travelling abroad, Walters said.

China's GDP per capita exceeded $5,000 in 2011 and reached $7,575 last year.

China is facing an upgrading of its consumption structure, as some provinces and cities in China already saw their per capita GDP exceed $10,000, the threshold for high-income economies, said Liu.

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