Chinese economy makes steady progress and has bright future

Ambassador Chen Mingjian

By Chen Mingjian

Against the backdrop of a complex and severe international situation and sluggish global economic recovery, the trend of China’s economic development is an important aspect that affects the world economy and attracts great attention. Last year, China’s GDP exceeded RMB 126 trillion (US$17.7 trillion), growing by 5.2 percent, ranking the top among major economies in the world, contributing one-third of global growth and remaining the world’s largest growth engine. The 2024 Chinese government work report has set the economic growth target for this year at around 5 percent, and the overall trend of economic recovery and long-term improvement remains unchanged.

In the past decade, China has adhered to the new development concept of “innovation, coordination, green, openness, and sharing”, followed a high-quality development path, focused on top-level design, and set sights on long-term economic development. China’s economic development has shown the following highlights:

Firstly, the foundation for development has become more solid. China has historically solved the problem of absolute poverty. Last year, the disposable income of Chinese residents increased by 6.1 percent, faster than the GDP growth. China has a huge market advantage, with a per capita GDP of over US$12,000 and a middle-income group of over 400 million people. The Communist Party of China (CPC) has imposed high pressure on corruption, built a new type of friendly and clean relationship between government and business, and set a more standardized, transparent and predictable environment for economic activities. The “Belt and Road” initiative has created a new platform for international economic cooperation, injected new impetus into world economic growth, and expanded the space for its own economic development.

Secondly, the competitive advantage remains significant. China’s economic development has significant institutional advantages. China adheres to the development and improvement of the socialist market economy, and through forward-looking economic policies and industrial layout, it is in a leading position in new economic formats such as new energy. China has the supply advantage of a complete industrial system. The industrial system consists of 41 industrial categories, 207 job types, and 666 industrial subcategories, making it the only country in the world to have all the industrial categories listed in the United Nations Industrial Classification. China has the advantage of a large number of high-quality workers and entrepreneurs. China has established the world’s largest public education system, with the number of graduates in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics steadily ranking first in the world.

Thirdly, China has been creating more opportunities for foreign-invested enterprises. China’s shift to high-quality development offers a high-return market for foreign companies. In the past five years, the return rate of foreign direct investment in China was 9.1 percent, much higher than that of European and American countries. Last year, nearly 54,000 foreign-invested enterprises were established in China, an increase of 39.7 percent year-on-year. China provides a fertile soil for foreign-funded enterprises to transit from “Made in China” to “Created in China”. Of the 153 lighthouse factories representing the highest level of intelligent manufacturing and digitization in the world, China has 62, ranking first in the world in terms of quantity. China continues to optimize the environment for foreign investment. Last year, China formulated 59 policies and measures to optimize the environment for foreign investment, of which 38 have been implemented.

The high-quality development of the Chinese economy has provided sustained momentum for China-Tanzania cooperation. China has been the largest trading partner of Tanzania for 8 consecutive years, with a bilateral trade volume of US$8.78 billion last year, a year-on-year increase of 5.66 percent. China is also the largest source of foreign investment in Tanzania. Last year, large-scale investment projects such as the China-Tanzania Kibaha Industrial Park, and East Africa Commercial and Logistics Center were successfully launched. The construction of major projects such as the fifth and sixth lots of the Central Standard Gauge Railway, and the Nyerere Hydropower Station by Chinese enterprises in Tanzania is steadily advancing, making important contributions to the improvement of Tanzania’s infrastructure and investment environment.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Tanzania, ushering in new opportunities for the development of bilateral practical cooperation. Under the guidance of the head-of-state diplomacy, China will promote the continuous development of the China-Tanzania comprehensive strategic partnership and continue to benefit the two peoples with its own economic development.

Chen Mingjian is the Chinese ambassador to Tanzania