Xi wants financial development with Chinese characteristics, Li Qiang invites multinationals to China

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A round-up of the top economic and financial headlines in the Chinese press as of 18 January, 2024.

Xi Jinping calls for financial development with Chinese characteristics (CCTV

On 16 January, the Central Party School held a special seminar for leading cadres at the provincial and ministerial levels to promote high-quality financial development.

General Secretary Xi Jinping personally taught the “First Lesson of the New Year”, emphasizing that we should unswervingly follow the path of financial development with Chinese characteristics and promote high-quality financial development in our nation.

Finance is the lifeblood of the national economy and an important part of the nation’s core competitiveness. At present, China’s economy is recovering and improving, and high-quality development is making solid progress.

 However, there are certain difficulties and challenges that we need to overcome to further promote economic recovery. The “First Lesson of the New Year” focused on the development path of finance with Chinese characteristics, highlighting its important role and significance.

According to China’s state-owned media, “financial development with Chinese characteristics” as outlined by Xi include:

  • Upholding the concentrated and unified leadership of the party central committee with regard to financial work. 
  • Upholding the value orientation of making people the centre. 
  • Upholding the fundamental mission of finance serving the real economy. 
  • Upholding risk prevention and control as the eternal theme of financial work. 
  • Upholding the innovative development of finance along the path of marketisation and the rule of law. 
  • Upholding the deepening of supply-side structural reforms of finance. 
  • Upholding the coordination of financial opening and security. 
  • Upholding the overall theme of pursuing progress amidst stability. 

Premier Li Qiang sends key signals during face-to-face meetings at Davos (Beijing Youth Daily

On 16 January, Premier Li Qiang attended a luncheon in Davos, Switzerland, with the heads of 14 multinational companies, including WalMart, JPMorgan Chase, Intel, BASF, Volkswagen and Siemens. 

Li Qiang said the overall long-term positive trend of China’s economy will not change and will provide new development opportunities for companies from all over the world. 

“Investing in China will bring you huge returns and a better future,” Li said.

Li pointed out that under current circumstances, conflict and fragmentation will only make the recovery of the world economy more difficult. 

China opposes all forms of division and confrontation, and China’s door to the outside world will open wider and wider.

China’s GDP grows 5.2% in 2023; disposable income rises 6.1% (People’s Daily)

On 17 January, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released its “report card” for China’s economy in 2023. 

Preliminary calculations indicate that gross domestic product (GDP) in 2023 grew by 5.2% year-on-year (YoY). The national average urban survey unemployment rate was 5.2%, and the consumer price index (CPI) rose by 0.2% YoY. 

The per capita disposable income of Chinese residents actually increased by 6.1% YoY; the total import and export of goods increased by 0.2% YoY, while foreign exchange reserves at the end of the year exceeded 3.2 trillion US dollars.

“In 2023, China’s economy handed over a report card of sound quality and adequate weight.” said Kang Yi, director of the National Bureau of Statistics.

China’s GDP exceeded 126 trillion yuan in 2023, with a growth rate 2.2 percentage points faster than in 2022. 

China’s economic growth rate of 5.2% in 2023 ranks among the best out of the world’s major economies. Its contribution to world economic growth is expected to exceed 30%, making it the largest engine of global growth.

Commerce minister calls for accelerating transformation of China into a trading superpower (People’s Daily

Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, General Secretary Xi Jinping has issued a series of key instructions on the establishment of China as a great trading power.

The eighth collective study session of the CPC Politburo held in September 2023 once again emphasized the necessity of accelerating the development of a great trading power, upgrading the trade in goods, engaging in innovation in the services trade, developing digital trade, making digital greenification the direction, further enhancing the status of the international division of labor, and moving towards the middle and upper ends of the global value chain. 

The Ministry of Commerce has conducted in-depth study, and is working with various local departments to take the creation of a great trading power to a new level. 

Comprehensively strengthen financial regulation, better serve the real economy (Xinhua

The National Administration of Financial Regulation (NAFR) recently held a press conference to introduce the situation of financial regulatory authorities comprehensively strengthening financial supervision, guiding financial institutions to effectively perform the five financial mandates (五篇大文章) and serving high-quality economic and social development.

Data from NAFR indicates that as of the end of November 2023, the nationwide financial inclusion micro-and-small enterprise loan balance was 28.51 trillion yuan, for a year-on-year (YoY) increase of 23.13%. 

Nationwide micro-and-small enterprise credit loans, renewal loans, and medium and long-term loans increased by 35.48%, 29.39% and 22.32% in YoY terms respectively. 

In the first 11 months of 2023, the average interest rate for newly issued financial inclusion micro-and-small enterprise loans was 4.79%.

Is Jack Ma promoting a pig’s trotter restaurant in Chengdu? (Shichang Zixun

Netizens recently posted about a pig’s trotter restaurant in Chengdu, which hung out multiple congratulatory banners at its opening that bore the names of leading business people such Lei Jun, Jack Ma, Ma Huateng, Ren Zhengfei, Liu Qiangdong, Zhang Chaoyang, and Luo Yonghao. 

The posts drew widespread attention online and became a hot search topic on Baidu on the evening of 17 January.

Lin Xiaoming, a partner at Sichuan Yishang Law Firm, said that even if some individuals do send banners to people bearing the same name as celebrities, the store may be violation of the Advertising Law.

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