Archive April 2019

Services are growing rapidly. The value-added of th

 tertiary sector, which is mainly services, grew from 56.7 to 57.3 percent of GDP from the same period last year. The

Index of Services Production increased 7.4 percent year-on-year, higher than the growth rate of overall GDP.

Overall retail sales of consumer goods also grew at 8.3 percent. Sales of upgraded consumer goods witnessed fast gro

wth, with the highest rates concentrated in upgraded products such as cosmetics, phones and computers.

And, high-tech services grew at an astonishing rate of 21.2 percent. In prepa

ring for consumer 5G telecoms next year, the output of mobile communications base stations grew 153.7 percent.

The data also show strong movement toward the government’s goal

of creating an ecological civilization. New energy automobiles and solar cells grew by 48.2 percen

t and 18.2 percent, respectively. Sales of urban rail vehicles grew by 54.1 percent, showing the

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investment in environment-friendly urban mas

 transit. According to NBS preliminary estimates, the share of consumption of clean energy such as natural gas, hydropo

wer, nuclear power and wind power in total energy consumption in the first quarter was 1.5 percentage points hi

gher than that of the same period last year. Energy consumption per unit of GDP went down by 2.7 percent year-on-year.

Total investment in fixed aassets grew by 6.3 percent, with private invest

ment growing at 6.4 percent, slightly faster than the overall number. This is es

pecially significant in the light of last year’s fears that private investment in the econo

my might collapse. So, the government’s efforts to strengthen the private sector appear to have borne fruit.

Investment in high-tech manufacturing rose by 11.4 percent and investme

nt in high-tech services rose 19.3 percent, both far higher than overall investment gro]

wth. This shows that the shift toward advanced manufacturing and services is well underway.

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And, despite ongoing tensions, the total value of impo

orts and exports rebounded sharply in March, reaching 9.6 percent higher than March 2018. S

o, overall trade grew by 3.7 percent year-on-year in the quarter despite low growth rates in January and Febru

ary. Exports of electrical and mechanical products, which are higher value added, grew by 5.4 percent in the qua

rter. And, private sector trade grew 9.9 percent, far more than the overall growth rate.

I am worried to see that total investment in real estate grew by 11.8 per

cent year-on-year. Having lived through the 2008 finan

cial crisis in the United States, I’m wary of continued high investment in real estate in a time when property prices are al

ready astonishingly high and China’s living space per person has already surpassed that in Europe.

The bottom line is that fiscal and monetary policies combined with policies to promote structural transformation have

achieved a stable macroeconomic situation and steady movement toward supply side upgrading.

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Noting that China has the world’s biggest middle-incom

income population, Xi said that China would open up its market continuously and welcome quality products from around the world.

China does not pursue a trade surplus intentionally, and it would like to import more com

petitive farm products, finished products and services to promote the balance of trade, Xi said.

China will promote greater openness in modern services, manufacturin

g and agriculture, allow foreign capital to hold the controlling share in more areas and buil

d some new free trade pilot zones to further ease market access for foreign capital, he said.

China will speed up making relevant rules and regulat

ions and ensure the implementation of the Foreign Investment Law, Xi said, adding that the cou

ntry will push forward supply-side structural reform through fair competition and international cooperation.

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Jon Taylor, a professor of political science at the Uni

versity of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas, in the United States, said Xi

wants to convey a specific message: that China sees the BRI as a method by which it can make

a substantial and permanent contribution to lasting peace, common security and global prosperity.

“While some Westerners may scoff at the impact they think the BRI m

ay have on these issues, Xi genuinely sees the BRI as a global development project and will cont

inue to wholeheartedly put China’s money, resources and energies into this project,” he said.

Chen Weihua in Brussels, Bo Leung in London, Zhao Huanxin in Washington, Edith Muteth

ya in Nairobi and Chen Yingqun in Beijing contributed to this story.The profits of China’s major indu

strial firms surged by 13.9 percent in March, a drastic rebound compared to the 14-percent decline in January-Febru

ary period, official data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed Saturday.

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Last year, we issued an announcement offering op

portunities for all UN member states to propose experiments they want to conduct using China’s space station,” said Simone

tta Di Pippo, director of the UNOOSA. “We have received more than 40 proposals before the deadline for sub

mission. We will announce the winners probably by the end of June after evaluation.” Di Pippo said these on the sideli

nes of the fourth China Space Day on April 24 to mark the anniversary of the country’s first satellite launch in 1970.

Moreover, Pakistan intends to send one of their astronauts to China’s space station by 2022, A

mer Nadeem, chairman of Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission in Pakistan, said after

the opening ceremony of China Space Day in Changsha, Hunan province, on Wednesday.

“Hopefully, the agreement on the matter will be signed very soon. We will select the candidates based on the agreement. Also, they

will come to China for some parts of the training,” Nadeem said. He added that Pakistan and China will furth

er enhance cooperation on several space projects focusing on satellite networks in future.

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Leveraging private funds prioritized in BRI projects

China’s financial minister and central bank governor vowed to strengthe

n debt management and leverage more private funds for infrastructure construction un

der the Belt and Road Initiative, suggesting a new framework to assess debt risks for partner countries on Thursday.

The Ministry of Finance published a debt-sustainability analysis framework for the BRI’s participating economies at the start of t

he Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, a three-day event in Beijing.

Financial institutions of China and other BRI economies are encouraged to use the “nonmandatory” policy t

ool for rating debt risk before making lending decisions. The analysis method is based on in

ternational standards provided by the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, according to the ministry.

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China looks to strike a balance between meeting finan

ancing needs, sustainable development and debt sustainability, according to Finance Minister Liu Kun.

“We will build a high-standard and high-quality financing system to s

upport long-term and sustainable BRI investment while preventing debt risks,” Liu said.

He suggested promoting financing cooperation for projects in

third-party countries, equity investment and attracting more private funding.

Enhancing debt and risk management is a key consideration for deepening BRI financi

ng cooperation, said Yi Gang, governor of the People’s Bank of China, the central bank.

“The debt issue in developing countries should be treated objective

ly. If debt growth is accompanied by infrastructure improvement, enhancement of people’s liveliho

ods and productivity and poverty reduction, it will be beneficial for the sustainability of long-term debt,” Yi said.

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Yi pledged to use more market-based commercial fund

 He also said improving transparency for projects’ financing is needed, especially for green

financing, and using local currencies in BRI investments to curb exchange rate risks. “The opening of local curr

ency-denominated bond markets will effectively attract long-term funds and reduce risks of currency mismatches,” he said.

Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fu

nd, said at the forum that China’s increased focus on the long-term success of BRI projects and the

BRI debt sustainability framework “are very welcome steps in the right direction”.

The further opening-up of China’s financial sector, such as the b

ond market, will enable diversification and foster renminbi internationalization, she said.

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Xi added that the two countries should jointly prom

mote the building of the Asia-Pacific free trade zone and maintain the multilateral trading system.

He said China and Latin American countries should support each other, make full use

of their complementary advantages and achieve win-win cooperation. The two sides should pursue comm

on development and jointly build a community with a shared future for China and Latin America, Xi added.

The Chilean president said the Belt and Road Initiative, put forward by Xi, has show

n the glorious history of the ancient Silk Road and promoted exchanges between different cultures in the new era.

Chile supports the building of the Belt and Road, and it hopes t

o learn from China’s experience in innovative and green development, he said.

Pinera said Chile, which is dedicated to maintaining multilateralism and the multilateral t

rading system, would like to enhance coordination with China on regional and multilateral affairs.

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