China / Government

Xi stresses importance of innovation, restructuring

By Lan Lan (China Daily) Updated: 2015-05-29 04:42

Innovation, economic restructuring and consumption should be priorities when the nation maps out its 13th Five-Year Plan, President Xi Jinping said on Thursday during a trip to Zhejiang province.

Policymakers should clearly understand the risks and challenges facing the economy and give careful consideration to difficulties and complexities when drawing up the plan for 2016 to 2020.

This is the last year of the 12th Five-Year Plan, and the central government is currently devising its development policy for the 13th plan, the first to be produced by the new leadership under Xi.

The president made the remarks at a meeting with leading officials from seven regions in East China — Shanghai and the provinces of Anhui, Fujian, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Shandong and Zhejiang.

The government is assessing the effects of decelerating growth, he said, adding that a way forward will be found and greater innovation is needed.

Xi said the country should move from the investment- and exports-led growth model and make consumption, investment and exports work in a more coordinated manner. It should step away from the resource- and material-dependent model to one relying on innovation, technical development and the improvement of skills.

Zhang Jianping, director of the International Economic Cooperation Institute for International Economic Research under the National Development and Reform Commission, said expanding consumption should be a priority.

“Consumption’s contribution to growth exceeded 51 percent last year, and the momentum will be sustained. The economically vibrant eastern provinces should provide role models,” said Zhang.

Xi highlighted a number of major priorities for economic and social development during the 13th Five-Year Plan, including economic growth, innovation, modern agriculture and ecological protection.

He said China’s development faces opportunities and challenges in restructuring and promoting innovation against the backdrop of a complex world economy.

Xinhua, AP contributed to this story.

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