On November 5, Ambassador Qi Zhenhong published a signed article titled "China’s Development, World’s Opportunity" on the Sri Lanka Guardian. Here is the full text:
The economic data for the first three quarters of 2021 released by China’s National Bureau of Statistics was very eye-catching: the gross domestic product (GDP) reached 82.31 trillion yuan, up by 9.8% over the same period of last year at comparable prices, with an average two-year growth of 5.2%. Despite the continuous impact of COVID-19 worldwide, China’s economy was growing steadily. Its optimized and upgraded economy showed extraordinary resilience to pressure, contributed significantly to the stabilization and restoration of the global supply chain, and injected much-needed confidence and impetus into the current world economy with uncertainty, which was highlighted by:
First, the consumer price index (CPI) was at a relatively low level (up by 0.6% year on year). Prices of daily necessities were stable with a slight decline and food prices have dropped by 1.6%. Second, employment was generally stable. 10.45 million new jobs were created in urban areas, achieving 95% of this year’s target; surveyed urban unemployment rate was 5.2%. Third, steady progress was witnessed in the development of industries. The total output of summer grain and early rice increased by 3.69 million tons compared to last year and the sown area for autumn grain also expanded. The value added of high-tech manufacturing industry increased by 20.1% year on year with an average two-year growth of 12.8%. Fourth, foreign trade and investment grew rapidly. The trade value of goods increased by 22.7% year on year in the first three quarters, with widened trade surplus and optimized trade structure. Paid-in foreign investment continued to increase (up by 22.3% for the first eight months) and foreign exchange reserves remained stable, maintaining above USD 3.2 trillion for five consecutive months. Fifth, there was sustained recovery of domestic demand. Investment in the manufacturing industry and private investment achieved average two-year growth of 3.3% and 3.7% respectively. The per capita disposable income rose by 9.7% year on year, basically in line with GDP growth. Sixth, innovation and entrepreneurship gained sound momentum. China has moved up and ranks the 12th in WIPO’s “Global Innovation Index 2021”. Market entities have increased rapidly, with a total number of nearly 150 million and the overall level of activity around 70%. Seventh, the development vitality of enterprises was stimulated. For the first eight months, the value added of medium-sized industrial enterprises and micro and small ones above designated size increased by 16.3% and 14.1% year on year respectively and the total profit of industrial enterprises above designated size recorded an average two-year growth of 19.5%. Eighth, financing cost in general has been steadily decreasing. From January to August, corporate loan interest rate was 4.63%, down by 0.13% over the same period of last year.
Admittedly, the Chinese economy is also faced with some challenges, including the unbalanced and inadequate development, factors restricting investment and consumer demand, structural contradiction of employment, uncertainty caused by the Pandemic situation globally, and international commodity prices running high, etc.. Nevertheless, one flaw cannot obscure the splendor of the jade. China is striving to build a new development pattern with the domestic cycle as the mainstay and the domestic and international cycles reinforcing each other. The economic fundamentals that will sustain stable and long-term growth remain unchanged: major macro indicators have stayed within a reasonable range and the national economy maintains the trend of recovery; the economic structure has been adjusted and optimized and the quality and efficiency of development are improved; the deepening of reform and opening-up is advancing and economic development is getting stronger momentum; residents’ income continues to grow and people’s livelihood gets powerful and effective support.
I’m delighted to see that China and Sri Lanka have been standing together and helping each other in fighting against the Pandemic. Sri Lanka’s GDP achieved growth of 8% in the first half of this year; our two countries’ cooperation in areas of trade, investment, finance, etc. also bore fruitful results, with the value of bilateral trade in goods up by 54.7% year on year for the first three quarters, of which Sri Lanka’s export to China up by 111.2%, and major cooperation projects especially the Hambantota Port and Port City Colombo becoming new magnets to attract foreign investment. China looks forward to joining hands with Sri Lanka in defeating the Pandemic and promoting bilateral pragmatic cooperation to achieve new breakthroughs in the days to come; China is also willing to share development opportunities and draw up a blueprint for development with countries around the world to achieve greater and better development.