Yesterday, Niu Qingbao, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Chile, held his annual press conference on the sessions of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), also known as the “Two Sessions”.

These sessions took place from 4 to 11 March. They are not only crucial moments in the country’s domestic politics but are also seen as a window to the world through which China can reflect itself and be seen by other sectors and countries.

In 2023, the Central Committee of the Communist Party, led by Comrade Xi Jinping, will unite and guide the people of all ethnic groups in the country to achieve the economic and social development goals set for that year, giving a solid impetus to high-quality development on the path of comprehensively building a modern socialist country.

Outlook for 2024

Overall, the economic recovery is on a good track, with GDP growth of 5.2%. China remains the world’s biggest engine, accounting for more than 30% of global economic growth; 12.44 million urban jobs were created, up 380,000 year-on-year, and the unemployment rate was 5.2%. Inflation was 0.2% year-on-year, and the year-on-year increase in the core CPI, which excludes food and energy prices, was 0.7%. Foreign exchange reserves exceeded USD 3.2 billion at the end of the year, maintaining a basic balance of payments equilibrium.

Scientific and technological innovation made breakthroughs in cutting-edge fields such as artificial intelligence and quantum technology. Total societal investment in R&D accounts for more than 2.64% of GDP, and innovation-driven development capabilities remain buoyant.

The quality of the ecological environment has been steadily improving. Emissions of major pollutants have continued to decline and the quality of surface waters and coastal marine areas has steadily improved. For the first time in the history of thermoelectricity, the installed capacity for electricity generation from renewable energy exceeded that of thermoelectricity, with a full-year increase of more than half of the world’s installed capacity of this type.

Forecasts and openness

According to the report, the country’s GDP is expected to grow by about 5%; more than 12 million jobs are expected to be created in urban areas; the consumer price index (CPI) is expected to grow by about 3%; grain production is expected to increase to more than 650 million tons; the quality of the ecological environment is expected to improve steadily; people’s income growth is expected to keep pace with economic growth; and the balance of payments is expected to remain balanced.

Reform and opening are key policies that determine the destiny of China today and are the only way to achieve the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. China will proactively conform to the highest international economic and trade standards, steadily expand its institutional openness, improve the market linkage effect of domestic and foreign resources, consolidate the foundations of foreign trade and investment, and cultivate new advantages in economic cooperation and international competition.

In short, this year China will promote the qualitative improvement and quantitative stabilization of foreign trade, intensify the attraction of foreign funds, and especially promote the deepening of partnerships for the joint construction of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.