High-tech push to drive investment

An employee works on the production line of a marine equipment manufacturing company in Dongying, Shandong province. (LIU ZHIFENG/FOR CHINA DAILY)

Information infrastructure to shine the spotlight on the industrial economy in the future

China will seek to speed up the launch of a new batch of information infrastructure projects to boost investment and consumption, officials and experts said on Tuesday.

The country’s broader goal is to keep its sprawling industrial economy within a reasonable range, they said.

The infrastructure surge follows latest data showing that China’s industrial production, an important economic indicator, rose 3.4% year-on-year in the first half of this year despite the challenges and uncertainties of the COVID pandemic. -19 and a more complicated international environment.

With manufacturing accounting for a large chunk of GDP, the industrial economy will continue to be the backbone of the world’s second-largest economy, which will also help preserve the stability of global industrial and supply chains, experts said.

Tian Yulong, spokesperson and chief engineer of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said efforts should be made to start a series of important projects in 5G, gigabit optical networks, Industrial Internet and other new information infrastructure as soon as possible, so that expand investment and stimulate consumption.

In the first half, telecommunications fixed asset investment reached 189.4 billion yuan ($28.1 billion), up 24.6 percent year on year. In June, China built more than 1.85 million 5G base stations and the number of 5G mobile subscribers reached 455 million, according to ministry data.

“We will step up our efforts to encourage the consumption of new energy vehicles and green building materials in rural areas,” Tian said.

In June, auto industry output rose 16.2 percent year-on-year, thanks to efforts to help automakers quickly resume production after the pandemic was better contained.

New auto sales soared nearly 24% year-on-year to 2.5 million units in June, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. Such a dynamic accelerated the whole of industrial growth.

Another positive point is that in the second quarter, the value added of the manufacturing industry represented 28.8% of GDP, which is 1.4 percentage points more than in 2021. This is a very positive signal, a Tian said.

Meanwhile, manufacturing investment rose 7.4 percent in the second quarter, 3.2 percentage points faster than the growth rate of investment in fixed assets.

“Effective manufacturing investment will not only play an important role in stabilizing current growth, but also help optimize future industrial structure and cultivate new drivers of economic development,” said Liu Wenqiang, deputy director of the China Center for Information Industry Development Consulting, a Beijing-based consulting firm.

The data reflects the important role the industrial economy plays in anchoring China’s overall economic growth, Liu said. “China has a comprehensive industrial system. As the nation transitions from a manufacturing powerhouse to a smart manufacturing hub, it will also help preserve the stability of global industrial and supply chains.”

Jiang Yuan, deputy director of the industrial statistics department of the National Bureau of Statistics, said industrial production picked up rapidly in May and June, with a series of targeted policies.

But the external environment remains difficult, market demand is weak and the industrial capacity utilization rate remains low. Hard work is needed to ensure stable industrial operations, Jiang said.

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