Accelerating Transformation of the Pattern of Economic Development to Amplify the Advantages of Scientific Development

From: English Edition of Qiushi Journal Updated: 2011-09-20 13:05
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 Guangdong Province has specially adopted a series of policy measures to closely integrate efforts to meet the challenges posed by the severe impact of the global financial crisis with efforts to accelerate transformation of the pattern of economic development. This has strengthened the province’s ability to ensure sustained development. 

  Site of the main venue for the opening ceremony of the 16th Asian Games at dusk (November 12, 2010). / Photo by Xinhua reporter Guo Dayue

 Structural improvement and upgrading is being driven by the “twin engines” of advanced manufacturing and modern services. Because of the impact of the international financial crisis on the real economy, the strength of economic restructuring efforts will have a direct bearing on efforts to sustain social development and improve competitiveness for some time to come. The Guangdong Provincial Party Committee and the Guangdong Provincial People’s Government are relying on market forces and the “twin engines” of advanced manufacturing and modern services to step up economic restructuring efforts and promote economic growth. First, we are developing a modern industrial system. We are developing six major industries, including a modern service industry centering on production-type service and an advanced manufacturing industry based on equipment manufacturing, focusing on development of eight projects including the modern industrial center in the Pearl River Delta. Second, we are developing strategic new industries. We are formulating a list of strategic new industries slated for development and foster the development of 100 influential closely related projects. In addition, we are upgrading traditional industries and eliminating backward production capacity. We are guiding efforts to improve conditions within traditional industries by introducing both domestic and foreign advanced technology and equipment to upgrade the currently used equipment and technology and increase the technical content of products. 

 We are working to develop a “new Guangdong” through enhancing its ability to make independent innovations and strengthening its industrial competitiveness. Experience has shown that an economic crisis often leads to a fresh round of industrial restructuring and scientific and technological innovation, bringing about fierce competition in science, technology and human resources. Taking advantage of the opportunities presented by this international financial crisis in terms of lowered costs of development and human resources, we are accelerating efforts to make Guangdong an innovative province by enhancing its ability to make independent innovations and strengthening its industrial competitiveness. In addition to organizing and carrying out major science and technology projects, we are implementing a roadmap for the development of industrial technology and accelerating implementation of the technology innovation project. In order to effectively address the problem of inadequate resources in terms of science and human resources, we are working with research institutions and universities inside and outside of the province to fully integrate the efforts of enterprises, universities and research institutions. We have implemented a project to attract high-level creative personnel to work in the field of science and technology. We invested more than 400 million yuan to bring in 12 creative research teams and 15 leading creative persons in the field of science and technology in 2009.   

 Carrying out a strategy of boosting domestic demand taps the inherent potential in the economy for growth. For a long time, the economic growth of Guangdong Province has mainly depended on exports. The impact of the international financial crisis has strengthened our resolve to make it the long-term orientation of our strategy to boost domestic demand, thereby truly promoting balanced development of domestic and external demand. On the basis of stabilizing external demand, we are working to introduce Guangdong’s products to the entire domestic market, encouraging enterprises to establish a permanent mechanism for domestic marketing and increasing investment in the central and western regions of China. In addition, we are accelerating the process of urbanization, stepping up development of urban and rural infrastructure, carrying out redevelopment in older cities and towns, renovating dilapidated factory buildings and redeveloping older areas of towns and villages. We plan to develop six green belts with a total length of 1690 kilometers in the Pearl River Delta area over the next three years.

 We are following a master strategy to promote balanced regional development. We have broken away from the approach of allocating resources in line with administrative divisions to strengthen interaction between regions and between areas within regions. First, we will strengthen development in the Pearl River Delta area through the strategy of integrated development. We are introducing a mechanism for areas of economic activity within Guangdong to cooperate in their development and formulating a master plan for infrastructure, distribution of industries, environmental protection, urban planning and public services in the Pearl River Delta area. We are accelerating development of intercity rail lines in the Pearl River Delta area and strengthening cooperation between Guangdong and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macao in the field of modern service industry. Second, we are promoting leapfrog development in the eastern, western and northern regions of Guangdong Province through the shifting of industries and the labor force to those areas. We have allocated 7.5 billion yuan specially to support the development of industrial parks in underdeveloped regions, thereby promoting the shift of labor intensive industries from the Pearl River Delta area to these underdeveloped regions of Guangdong Province.

 We are working to improve people’s lives and ensure their well-being by ensuring equal access to basic public services. We are carrying out the Outline Program for Ensuring Equal Access to Basic Public Services (2009-2020), which defines the goals and approach for promoting greater access in the eight areas of public education, public health care, public cultural and sports facilities, public transportation, public welfare services, housing, employment and medical treatment. We made innovations in the working mechanism for poverty alleviation in order to define responsibility for poverty alleviation down to individual persons responsible for specific households. The program aims to basically reverse the backward state of the 3,409 poverty-stricken villages and help 700,000 impoverished households to steadily shake off poverty over the next three years. 

 Thanks to the concerted efforts of the people of Guangdong Province, Guangdong’s economy is showing signs of overall recovery. Continued progress has been made in transforming the pattern of economic development and scientific development. One, the economy has taken a turn for the better. Guangdong’s gross regional product (GRP) for 2009 reached 3.9082 trillion yuan, 9.5% higher than the previous year and 0.8 percentage points higher than the average national growth rate. Two, the ability to make independent innovations has improved. There were 32,247 applications for patents in 2009, a year-on-year increase of 14.8%, 11,355 of which were granted patents, up 49.3% year-on-year, making the province first in China. The comprehensive index of ability to make innovations for Guangdong Province ranks second in China. Three, economic restructuring efforts are showing initial results. The added value of the equipment manufacturing industry and the output value of the high and new technology industry were first in China in 2009. The service industry has become the strongest driving force for Guangdong’s economic growth. Guangdong’s financial institutions held total assets of 9.33 trillion yuan, catching up with the level of Hong Kong for the first time in 2009. Four, the economic development of Guangdong has become more balanced. The GDP growth rate of the eastern, western and northern regions of Guangdong was 2.6, 0.9 and 1.5 percentage points respectively higher than the average growth rate of the whole province.

 Guangdong has made progress in dealing with the financial crisis and accelerating transformation of the pattern of economic development. However, we must keep a clear head and neither overestimate our success in transforming the pattern of economic development nor underestimate the difficulties involved in this process. In the future, we must better recognize opportunities and potential dangers and accelerate transformation of the pattern of economic development to create better conditions for scientific development.

 We must clearly recognize our strengths and weaknesses in working out a transformation path suitable for the province. We must scientifically analyze our strengths and weaknesses to make most of the former and compensate for the latter in transforming the pattern of economic development so we can follow a path suitable for Guangdong that takes into consideration actual conditions. One, we need to give full play to the advantage based on export-orientated products, overcome the restraints imposed by poor external demand, and strive to expand domestic sales to accelerate efforts to transform the pattern of economic growth from mainly relying on exports to growth that relies more on a balance of domestic and external demand. Two, we need to take advantage of the strong base of traditional industries, increase the value added of their products, and accelerate transformation and upgrading of traditional industries to move them from the low end of the industrial value chain to the high end. We are working to develop intelligent, integrated and network-based manufacturing by expanding the use of advanced manufacturing technologies such as digital control technology and applying more information technology in distribution and management. Three, we are taking full advantage of our favorable soft and hard environments and geographical position to attract business, investment, personnel and technology to accelerate the development of the province’s advanced manufacturing industry, modern service industry and high technology industry, thereby lowering the proportion of traditional industries. Four, taking advantage of our relatively sound market economic system and relatively strong financial resources, we are working to ease the shortage of human and scientific resources. In addition, we are making innovation the core force driving transformation of the pattern of economic growth to accelerate efforts to reduce reliance on factors of production and increase reliance on innovation to promote economic development. This will promote a change from “made in Guangdong” to “created in Guangdong.” Five, we are taking full advantage of the lively competition among regions and increase interaction and cooperation among regions. In addition, we are allocating resources beyond administrative divisions and accelerating efforts to shift from overreliance on urban areas for economic development to reliance on more balanced development of urban and rural areas in order to balance urban and rural development as well as balance development among different areas of Guangdong Province.

 We are carrying out reform and innovation and calling into play all factors that promote transformation of the pattern of economic development. We are working to create a good atmosphere for the transformation of the pattern of economic development since this transformation affects the immediate interests of the people. First of all, we are respecting the creative spirit of the people and giving full play to their initiative. We are asking for the people’s input concerning government affairs, their needs and their problems in connection with efforts to promote transformation of the pattern of economic development. In addition, we must make good use of the market and fully mobilize the strength of enterprises. We are improving market access criteria and stepping up law enforcement efforts to promote energy and land saving, emissions reduction and protection of intellectual property rights. We will encourage enterprises to carry out transformation or transfer to other areas through regulatory mechanism. We are also improving guidance of evaluation for cadres to fully mobilize them for the effort. We are improving the evaluation and assessment methods for cadres and improving the way they are evaluated and strengthening the administrative accountability system to ensure that cadres at all levels conscientiously work to transform the pattern of economic development. Finally, we are leading the way in developing systems and mechanisms to promote transformation of the pattern of economic development. We are working to make breakthroughs in reform in key areas and key links such as the administrative system, pricing of production factors, the investment and financing system, environmental protection and land management to develop a set of policies to promote transformation of the pattern of economic development.

 We are stepping up efforts to improve cadre training to improve the overall quality of cadres. In a sense, whether or not efforts to accelerate transformation of the pattern of economic development succeed will be determined by whether or not cadres have the kind of knowledge required to address the current condition. We are training a large number of cadres to meet the requirements of the Scientific Outlook on Development and the requirement to accelerate transformation of the pattern of economic development. Through large-scale training of cadres we are working to produce a new type of leading cadres with courage, plans, ideas and ability that will not only have the desire to accelerate the transformation of the pattern of economic development, but also have ample ability to lead the process.   

(From Qiushi, Chinese edition, No.14, 2010)

Note: Author: Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Secretary of the CPC Guangdong Provincial Committee

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