The two sessions of China, namely the session of the National People’s Assembly (APN) and the session of the National Committee of the Political Consultative Conference of the Chinese People (CCPPC), were successfully concluded and received widespread attention worldwide. The two sessions summarized the work of the Chinese government last year and the main work of the duration of the 13th Five-Year Plan, and made integral planning for the future.
In 2020, China made important strategic achievements in the control and treatment of Covid-19, and made positive strides in both its response to Covid-19 and economic and social development. China was the only major economy in the world that posted positive growth. According to the current criteria, all 55.75 million people in the rural poor have been lifted out of poverty – the eradication of poverty has been a complete success. China’s GDP has surpassed 100 trillion yuan, up 2.3% year over year. The standard of living of the people has increased significantly and more than 60 million new jobs have been created. In addition, China has built the largest social security system in the world.
In the next five years and thereafter, China will use the opportunities of the new development phase, implement a new development concept based on innovation, coordination, sustainability, openness and exchange and develop a new development paradigm in which the national transport is the pillar and the internal and international traffic are intensified. We want higher quality, more efficient, more equitable, more sustainable and safer development. China’s opening will be wider and deeper and encompass more sectors. By deepening its development, China will provide a whole world market that will open new opportunities to all countries, including Portugal.
China is the market with the greatest potential on a global scale and offers more opportunities for all countries. Economic growth of over 6% is expected for 2021. In five years, the urbanization rate in China will rise to 65% and the income gap between urban and rural dwellers will steadily narrow. In the next ten years, China’s middle class will grow from the current 400 million to 800 to 900 million people. The total volume of Chinese goods imports will exceed USD 22 billion, which will provide a broad market for quality products, technologies and services for all countries including Portugal.
China shares development opportunities with all countries. It is the largest economic partner in more than 130 countries and regions and one of the most open countries in the world. Negotiations on the bilateral investment treaty between China and the EU (BIT) were concluded last year. China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand and ten other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations have signed the Comprehensive Regional Economic Partnership (RCEP), which shows China’s determination to integrate even further into the world. The Chinese openness continues to expand and China will protect the multilateral trading system, promote the liberation and facilitation of trade and investment, and continue to create an internationalized, market-oriented, law-based business environment. Companies from all countries including Portuguese companies will benefit from China’s opportunities.
China stands ready to strengthen technological and innovative cooperation with all countries in the world and share its technological development. For the past five years, China’s research and development (R&D) resources have been the second largest in the world. China ranks 14th in the Global Innovation Index ranking and is the first most innovative middle-income economy. China’s R&D spending is expected to grow more than 7% a year over the next five years. The innovation-oriented strategy will help bring traditional industries up to date, strengthen strategic emerging industries and create new advantages in the digital economy. The deepening of science and technology cooperation and innovation in industry will be a “new foundation” for cooperation between China and the rest of the world.
China will implement the green economy to promote sustainable global development and international cooperation in green industry. For many years in a row we have been the world’s largest investor in renewable energies. We have the world’s largest installed capacity for renewable energy and power generation. China forecasts that over the next five years energy consumption per unit of GDP will increase by 13.5%, carbon dioxide emissions by 18%, the forest cover rate in China to increase to 24.1% and the weight of non-fossil energy in the primary energy matrix to increase to 13.1%. will decrease 20%.
China and Portugal are solemnly committed to achieving CO2 neutrality in 2060 and 2050 respectively. The Chinese side stands ready to step up cooperation with the Portuguese side, optimize the industrial structure and energy matrix, and develop energy-efficient and environmentally friendly industries to further contribute to the green recovery of the world economy.