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New quality productive forces drive high-quality development in China

Currently, China is accelerating the development of new quality productive forces, vigorously promoting the construction of a modern industrial system, and pushing China’s economy into a new stage of high-quality development.

What are new quality productive forces? Chinese President Xi Jinping once pointed out that with innovation playing the leading role, new quality productive forces mean advanced productivity that is free from traditional economic growth mode and productivity development paths, features high technology, high efficiency, and high quality, and comes in line with the new development philosophy. New quality productive forces are driven by revolutionary technological breakthroughs, innovative allocation of production factors, and deep industrial transformation and upgrading, taking the improvement of workers, means of labour, subjects of labour and their optimal combinations as its basic connotation, and a substantial increase in total factor productivity as its core hallmark. Marked by innovation and with high quality as the key, new quality productive forces are, in essence, advanced productivity.

The core of new quality productive forces lies in the concepts of “new” and “quality.” “New” involves driving industrial innovation through technological innovation, where advanced technologies give rise to new techniques, new models, and new formats, converging into the new intrinsic momentum of the next generation of productivity. “Quality” involves achieving a leap in productivity quality through key disruptive technological innovations. New quality productive forces no longer rely on traditional large-scale resource inputs and high-energy consumption growth models. Instead, they chart a new path of development characterized by fewer input factors, higher resource allocation efficiency, lower resource and environmental costs, and better economic and social benefits. They serve as an important indicator and driving forces for economic and social transformation and upgrading in the new era, as well as enhancing international competitiveness.

Nowadays, a new wave of technological revolution is sweeping across the world, and technological innovation plays an increasingly important role in today’s era of globalization. China’s economic development is currently undergoing multiple overlapping stages, including a transition from high-speed growth to a different gear, structural adjustments, digestion of previous stimulus policies, and tackling various reform challenges. The comparative advantage based on low production factor costs is reaching its peak. Only by continuously enhancing independent technological innovation capabilities, accelerating the development of new quality of productivity, and leading the new wave of the world’s technological revolution can China achieve the transformation from the old driving forces to the new ones, and ignite a new engine for the Chinese economy.

The Chinese government has listed the development of new quality productive forces as the top priority among this year’s ten major tasks, focusing on the following three aspects:

The first is to promote the optimization and upgrading of industrial and supply chains, enhance the resilience and competitiveness of industrial and supply chains, and implement manufacturing technology transformation and upgrading projects. Promote the high-end, intelligent, and green transformation of traditional industries and create more “Made in China” brands with international influence.

The second is to actively cultivate emerging industries and future industries, accelerating the development of cutting-edge emerging industries such as hydrogen energy, new materials, and innovative pharmaceuticals. It involves actively fostering new growth engines such as bio-manufacturing, commercial aerospace, and the low-altitude economy, formulating future industry development plans, opening up new paths such as quantum technology and life sciences, and strengthening the coordinated layout and investment guidance of key industries.

The third is to deepen the innovation and development of the digital economy. This involves further advancing research and application in big data, artificial intelligence, and other areas, launching initiatives such as “AI+”, constructing smart cities and digital rural areas, vigorously promoting the development, openness, and circulation of data, cultivating the ecosystem of computing power industries, empowering economic development, enriching people’s lives, and enhancing the modernization of social governance.

China has made important progress in developing new quality productive forces in recent years. In the year of 2023, the added value of China’s high-tech manufacturing industry increased by 2.7%, investment in high-tech industries increased by 10.3% over the previous year, and new momentum continues to accumulate. Taking the new energy vehicle as an example, China’s new energy vehicle production reached 9.443 million units in 2023, an increase of 30.3% over the previous year. Solar cell (photovoltaic cell) production reached 540 million kilowatts, an increase of 54.0%. Service robot production reached 7.833 million sets, an increase of 23.3%. In 2023, China’s annual research and development (R&D) expenditures were 3,327.8 billion RMB, an increase of 8.1% over the previous year.

The potential of China’s new quality productive forces is immense, with a bright future ahead. It will provide new tremendous opportunities for China-Pakistan economic and trade cooperation and the construction of CPEC. China is willing to strengthen cooperation with Pakistan in industries, mining, technology, low carbon and environmental protection, and other areas, allowing both sides to enjoy the benefits brought by the new quality productive forces. China is committed to deepening the all-weather strategic partnership with Pakistan and working together to build a closer China-Pakistan community of shared future in the new era.

Yang Yundong, "New quality productive forces drive high-quality development in China," Business recorder. 2024-03-31.
Keywords: Economics , Industrial system , Economic growth , Traditional economic , Digital economy , Economic development , Trade cooperation , Xi Jinping , China , Pakistan , RMB , CPEC

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