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The most important word for Chinese economic policy in 2022 is “stability,” according to a senior economic official of China’s Communist Party.

There are many hidden risks in the economy and the financial sector, and China can’t return to the old growth path, Han Wenxiu, executive vice minister of the party’s central financial and economic affairs commission, said in an online event Saturday. Han was explaining the economic plans for 2022, which the Communist Party released Friday.

The property sector is large, has a long supply chain, and accounts for a high proportion of the economy, fixed-asset investment, local governments’ income and financial institutions’ loans, Han says. It holds key significance in the economy and for financial stability and risk prevention, and China needs to explore a new development model for industry, he said without elaborating.

“All regions and agencies must take responsibility to uphold economic stability, actively introduce policies that can help stabilize the economy, and be cautious in imposing measures that will have a contractionary effect,” Han said.

To ensure the economy grows in a reasonable range next year, the government will take measures to stimulate activity and the confidence of market entities, senior official Ning Jizhe said at the event. It will also deepen the enforcement of fair competition policies and strengthen anti-monopoly regulations, he said.

Meanwhile, consumption and investment still face multiple barriers, said Ning, who heads the statistics bureau and is a vice-chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission. “Domestic demand remains insufficient,” he said, adding that the government “must fully explore the potential of domestic demand in 2022.”

While consumption of goods has grown, the expansion of services such as tourism, transportation or entertainment have been “hurt badly” because they involve contact with and concentration of people, he said. However, the government plans to continue its policies to control any outbreak of COVID-19, he said.

The government will implement policies to boost demand for major goods such as cars and home appliances and accelerate the building of e-commerce infrastructure and delivery networks in rural areas, Ning said. It will also expand effective investment in programs like new infrastructure, new urbanization, hydropower and transportation, and speed up progress in 102 major projects in the 14th five-year plan, he said.

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