Urbanization to be major growth driver

BEIJING: China is looking to accelerate urbanization as part of its broader efforts to boost domestic consumption amid rising protectionism in the global trade arena.
The strategy has been laid out in a set of measures aimed at expanding domestic demand between 2023 and 2035. The plan, formulated and issued by the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council, was released to the public on Dec 14.
The document describes urbanization as a crucial avenue for raising consumption and upgrading industry, and suggests it will work as a “major propeller” for growth.
The increased focus on generating more domestic consumption comes as Chinese pockets have grown deeper over the past few decades. The plan says the sales of new cars in the country has been leading the world for the past 13 years.
The shift — from development driven by investment and export to development driven by consumption — will also help make the most of the ultra-large size of the Chinese market. In addition, it will defend the country against the “complex and serious” external environment, such as rising protectionism and hegemony, and promote economic circulation and build a new development paradigm.
In a section focused on advancing “people-centered new urbanization”, the plan says that the hukou, or household registration system, needs to be overhauled to help turn rural migrants into urban residents. Under the current urban-rural, two-track hukou system, healthcare, schooling and many other local public services are inaccessible to out-of-town people.
A people-centered approach means fostering new city clusters, investing in public services and healthcare in counties, and upgrading infrastructure in bigger cities, such as adding elevators to old apartment buildings as their residents age.
–The Daily Mail-China Daily news exchange item