Key Takeaways From China's Central Economic Work Conference (Part 1)

Key Takeaways From China's Central Economic Work Conference (Part 1)

by Swarajya Staff - Sunday, December 18, 2022 10:00 PM IST
Key Takeaways From China's Central Economic Work Conference (Part 1)China's CEWC

China's Central Economic Work Conference is an annual meeting held by the Chinese government to review and set economic policy for the following year. The conference is held in December and is attended by top officials from the Communist Party of China, the State Council, and other government agencies. The conference is considered to be an important event in the Chinese political calendar, as it sets the direction for the country's economic policy and development.

The Central Economic Work Conference was first held in 1978, following the launch of economic reforms in China. The conference was initially held to review the progress of economic reform and to set economic targets for the following year. Over time, the conference has evolved and has come to play a more important role in shaping China's economic policy.

At the conference, officials discuss and set economic targets for the following year, such as GDP growth, employment, inflation, and trade. They also discuss and formulate policies to address economic issues and challenges facing the country, such as improving the business environment, promoting innovation, and addressing regional imbalances.

The conference also serves as an important forum for top officials to exchange views and coordinate economic policy. It is a key venue for decision-making on economic matters and is closely watched by economic analysts and investors around the world.

Key takeaways from this year's Central Economic Work Conference

The two-day Central Economic Work Conference of the Chinese Communist Party held in Beijing ended on December 16. The conference discussed the current economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The conference stated that it aims to focus on restoring and expanding consumption and strive for "progress through stability."

On Friday, President Xi Jinping delivered an important speech at the Central Economic Work Conference, summarizing China's economic work in 2022. 

According to the official Xinhua News Agency, Premier Li Keqiang laid out next year's economic work, and Li Qiang, who is expected to become the next premier, made a speech. 

The Central Economic Work Conference admitted that China's economy has faced difficulties this year due to a contraction in demand, supply shocks, weak expectations, and external uncertainty and volatile environment.

The decline in demand reflects a decrease in the purchasing power of the Chinese people, which is expected due to the fact that in other countries, such as the US, the government provided financial support to people during the pandemic lockdown, leading to an increase in income and strong purchasing power once the lockdown ended.

In contrast, the Chinese government did not provide financial support to its citizens during the lockdown, leading to a decrease in income and weaker purchasing power as many people had to rely on their savings and were unable to work.

The supply shock primarily occurred due to China's strict lockdown policies that closed factories, resulting in the restructuring of the global supply chain and the outflow of international orders from China. 

On social policy, the conference emphasised the need to secure the bottom line of people's livelihood, especially focusing on "promoting employment for young people, especially college graduates," and placing it in a more prominent position. 

This is the Chinese government's latest discussion on employment issues for young people after the "white paper movement" in various parts of China.

The conference stated that in 2023, it will focus on expanding domestic demand, rewarding investment, and increasing exports to "boost confidence in development, focus on expanding domestic demand, and prioritise the restoration and expansion of consumption, and increase the income of urban and rural residents through various channels by using government investment and policy incentives.

(rest of the article will continue in part 2)

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