Xi highlights equipment upgrading

Replacing consumer goods seen as key to promoting high-quality growth

By Mo Jingxi | China Daily | Updated: 2024-02-24 07:08
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Employees work at an intelligent plant of truck manufacturer FAW Jiefang in Changchun, Northeast China's Jilin province, Feb 19, 2024. [Photo/Xinhua]

President Xi Jinping stressed on Friday the need to encourage a new round of equipment upgrading and consumer goods replacement in the nation's latest move to boost consumption to support its high-quality growth.

Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks while presiding over a meeting of the Central Commission for Financial and Economic Affairs, which he heads.

He also urged efforts to effectively reduce logistics costs, strengthen the core competitiveness of industries and improve economic efficiency.

According to the Ministry of Commerce, China's total retail sales of consumer goods, a major indicator of the country's consumption strength, climbed 7.2 percent year-on-year to reach 47.15 trillion yuan ($6.55 trillion) in 2023, a clear indication of the Chinese people's growing readiness to purchase.

Meanwhile, official data showed that in 2023, there were more than 3 billion home appliances in use in China, with households across the nation owning large quantities of air conditioners, refrigerators and TVs.

Participants in Friday's meeting said the renewal of large-scale equipment and the trade-in of consumer goods will help to greatly promote investment and consumption, thus generating benefits both at present and in the future, according to a statement released after the meeting.

A package of policy measures should be adopted to increase the proportion of advanced production capacity, introduce more high-quality and durable consumer goods into the lives of residents and promote the recycling of waste resources, they said, stressing the need to take a market-oriented and government-supported approach during the process.

According to a circular issued by nine central government departments last month, the country is working to achieve a 15 percent increase in the volume of recycled disused or old home appliances and furniture by 2025, compared to the 2023 level.

It was also noted at the meeting that efforts should be made to promote the updating and technical transformation of different types of equipment, encourage the trade-in of traditional consumer goods such as automobiles and home appliances for new ones, and boost the replacement of durable consumer goods.

The central finance authorities and local governments should make coordinated efforts to ensure that the replacement can benefit consumers in a more extensive way, the meeting said.

Speaking of lowering the overall logistics costs for society, the meeting's participants said that the ultimate purpose is to serve the real economy and the public.

They urged efforts to adjust the transportation structure by improving the utilization of railways and waterways beside roadways. The development of new logistics models involving the platform economy and unmanned driving is also encouraged, they said.

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