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Assembly passes key public tenders law - MPs approve budgets of five bodies

By Zhang Jianwei

Chinese Ambassador to Kuwait

In early March 2024, China concluded this year’s session of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and session of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, known as the “two sessions” that are of great importance in China’s political calendar. The report on the work of the government delivered on the session proposes an array of new objectives and measures regarding China’s economic growth, demonstrating the determination and confidence of China in focusing its efforts on advancing high-quality development.

In 2023, China’s high-quality economic development has made continuous progress. Overall economic recovery and growth were boosted. Significant progress was made in building a modernized industrial system. New breakthroughs were made in scientific and technological innovation. And reform and opening up were deepened. Specifically, China’s gross domestic product (GDP) surpassed 126 trillion yuan, about $17.89 trillion, an increase of 5.2 percent, ranking China among the fastest-growing major economies in the world. The report of the International Financial Forum demonstrates that China contributes 32 percent to the global economic growth in 2023.

China’s trade in goods ranked the top in the world for seven years in a row, and its trade in services operated in a more balanced manner and maintained the momentum of rapid recovery. The influx of foreign investment remained at a historical high level. The number of newly established foreign-invested enterprises reached 53,766, representing a growth of 39.7 percent year-on-year. The actual foreign direct investment hit $163.25 billion. The return on foreign direct investment in China had been around 9.1 percent, while in Europe and the US, it was around 3 percent. In addition, China’s outbound investment and cooperation rose steadily last year. Its overall outbound direct investment increased 5.7 percent to 1.04 trillion yuan, about $147.9 billion. The non-financial outbound direct investment grew 16.7 percent.

In 2024, China’s economic development will be committed to the principles of pursuing progress while ensuring stability. After considering evolving dynamics at home and abroad and other relevant factors as well as what is needed and what is possible, the Chinese government has set this year’s growth rate at round 5 percent. China will strive to modernize the industrial system and develop new quality productive forces at a faster pace. China will continue to deepen reform and boost internal momentum for development.

China will promote integrated development between urban and rural areas, advance coordinated development between regions, and optimize regional economic layout. China will enhance ecological conservation and promote green and low-carbon development. With distinctive institutional strengths and the advantages of vast market demand, a complete industrial system to ensure supply, and a huge and high-caliber workforce, China has confidence and ability to overcome difficulties and challenges and promote sound and steady economic growth.

China will collaborate with global partners on pursuing mutual benefits. In 2023, China’s trade with countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) accounted for 46.6 percent of its total foreign trade, and non-financial outbound direct investment in these countries rose 28.4 percent year on year. In 2024, China will continue to expand high-standard opening up. To this end, China will intensify efforts to attract foreign investment, strive for solid progress in high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, and deepen multilateral, bilateral and regional economic cooperation. We are convinced that a more open China will bring more opportunities for the steady and sustained growth of the world economy to truly achieve mutual benefits.

There will be wider room for China-Kuwait economic and trade cooperation. In 2023, China’s trade with Kuwait reached $22.39 billion, making China the largest trading partner of Kuwait for nine consecutive years. China has remained the second largest source of foreign direct investment in Kuwait, with a notable growth in engineering contracts signed with Kuwaiti partners. In September last year, the two heads of state had a successful meeting and witnessed the signing of seven cooperation documents, which has instilled strong impetus in the future development of bilateral relations. Relevant Chinese authorities have set up their specialized working groups, and Kuwaiti Cabinet has established a dedicated committee, they are collaborating with each other on advancing and implementing the outcomes of the two leaders’ meeting.

Both sides have had several rounds of communication, and multiple working groups have exchanged visits. This year marks the 10th anniversary of China and Kuwait signing Belt and Road cooperation documents. The greater synergy between China’s BRI and the Kuwait Vision 2035 will further unleash the tremendous potential of China-Kuwait cooperation. China will work together with Kuwait to earnestly implement the important common understandings reached by the two heads of state and accelerate the progress of bilateral cooperation on certain projects, so as to support Kuwait’s diversified economic development and make greater contributions to realizing the global recovery as well as a universally beneficial and inclusive economic globalization.

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