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People's health is wealth for the nation

China Daily | Updated: 2017-08-15 07:22


Editor's note: The central leadership has taken several measures to promote sports and the sports industry to exhort more people to play sports or exercise regularly to lead a healthy lifestyle, because people's health is vital to economic and social development. Two experts share their views on the issue with China Daily.

National Fitness Strategy will promote sports sector

Wang Xueli, director of the Center for Development of Sports Industry, Tsinghua University / CHINA DAILY

The country celebrated the ninth National Fitness Day on Aug 8, which was themed "Keep Fit and Exercise Everyday to Welcome the Opening of the 19th CPC National Congress" and promoted several events, such as public demonstrations of physical fitness, in order to build the right atmosphere to welcome the Beijing-Zhangjiakou 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

After the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, made "national fitness" a part of the national strategy, while emphasizing that the improvement in people's overall physical health is important for the development of the country.

The State Council, China's Cabinet, issued a document in 2014 aimed at developing the sports industry with the aim of improving people's physical health. The "Recommendation for the 13th Five-Year Plan for Economic and Social Development", published during the Third Plenum of the 18th CPC Central Committee, for the first time highlighted the "National Fitness Strategy" to foster the robust development of the sports industry.

First, the National Fitness Strategy can greatly help the development of the sports industry if it promotes sports as a lifestyle. Studies show that when a country's per capita GDP reaches $2,500, people realize the importance of physical fitness, and when it reaches $5,000, the demand for sports and fitness equipment rises remarkably. And when the per capita GDP reaches $8,000, physical fitness tends to become a pillar industry of the economy. There is therefore reason to believe the sports industry can be turned into a pillar industry in China.

Second, the National Fitness Strategy can help formulate new business models to boost the sports industry. Still, while entrepreneurs are prioritizing their strength in targeted niches, consumer demand keeps increasing, not least because China's per capita coverage rate of gymnasiums remains low.

Third, the strategy could help bring related industries closer. The National Fitness Program (2016-20), issued by State Council, says sports consumption will exceed 1.5 trillion yuan ($230 billion) by 2020, and national fitness will become a driving force of the sports industry, fueling domestic demand.

To consolidate its position as a leading sports power, China will steadfastly implement the National Fitness Strategy and keep exploring new methodologies and patterns to facilitate the growth of the sports industry.

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