Central region

Growth of the central region is at the center of the new guideline

CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive technicians work at the company’s factory in Changsha, Hunan Province. [Photo/Xinhua]

Six provinces have made great efforts to facilitate national economic modernization work

The recently released guideline on boosting high-quality development in central China is expected to further facilitate industrial upgrading, attract more talented individuals and unleash their full potential in the new economy, experts and industry insiders said.

On March 30, at a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee – the Party’s main leadership – a policy document promoting the high-quality development of the country’s central region in the new era was discussed.

The document is the latest effort to boost central China’s development since the State Council, China’s cabinet, announced in 2016 a region-focused strategy to help it prosper better between 2016 and 2025.

The central region, which covers six provinces of Hubei, Hunan, Anhui, Shanxi, Jiangxi and Henan, has made great efforts and contributions to facilitate national economic modernization. Today, most of these provinces face their own challenges to become advanced economies and play a more effective role in the new development paradigm and dual circulation strategy.

They each have their own unique growth benefits. For example, Hunan has a strong manufacturing base. Equipment manufacturing in Hunan grew 10.4% year-on-year in 2020, and the province is striving to become a high-end manufacturing mecca.

Anhui, on the other land, has long been an agricultural breadbasket. Anhui’s research and innovation skills, along with those of Hubei, are the strongest in the region, as both are home to some of the country’s top-ranked universities.

The main challenges for them are to develop in a green and low-carbon way, centered on reform, deepening innovation and greater openness.

“Over the past decade, these six provinces have been the fastest in terms of economic growth, but they still have enormous potential thanks to their assets in natural resources, human capital, transport facilities and cultural treasures” , said Su Jingchun, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Fiscal Sciences, adding that in 2020, the combined GDP of these six provinces reached more than 22 trillion yuan ($3.39 trillion), or about 22 percent of the national total.

Liu Baokui, director of the Institute of Spatial Planning and Regional Economy at the National Development and Reform Commission – the country’s main economic regulator – believes that the new directive is part of the overall strategy of the countries aimed at boosting regional growth and bridging regional divides, and represents an important step in fueling the dual circulation.

“Most of these provinces have strong industrial foundations, and COVID-19 has left China with many new development windows, with central China being a key one. It will be a great chance for them to pursue industrial upgrading and release new potential. will be challenges like attracting high-end talent and supporting growth in a greener and more environmentally friendly way,” Liu said.