Chinese President Xi Jinping and the Central Committee, the largest of the ruling Communist Party’s top decision-making bodies, have today concluded the 5th Plenary Session of the 19th Party Congress with the endorsement of China’s 14th Five-Year Plan (2021- 2025),and Vision 2035, a road map for the following 15 years.
The final blueprint plan won’t be made public before being formally approved by China’s legislature, the National People’s Congress, when it meets next March.
However, a communique issued today provides some details around the shape and direction of China’s strategic goals and long-term policy aims over the coming five years, and the roadmap to 2035.
What makes this 5 Year Plan particularly important is that it will provide insights into China’s response to the major geo-economic changes occurring in the world, and its plans to further support the development of its domestic economy.
For Australian companies, it provides guidance as to potential areas of alignment with China’s policy trajectory and new opportunities to connect with China’s growing markets and industries.
ACBC has identified some of the key takeaways relevant to Australian firms from the Fifth Plenum’s Communique.
The value of China’s gross domestic product is expected to exceed 100 trillion yuan (US$14.92 trillion) this year. Despite the setbacks of 2020, this signals that China’s economy is well on track to rebounding although no GDP growth targets have been set.
The communique also set out that China will aim to achieve sustained and healthy economic development in 2021-2025, with a focus on higher quality growth.
With a strong reputation for providing high quality products and services to China’s savvy consumers, Australian premium exports of food, health services and education are well suited to tap into China’s thirst for an improvement in health, living standards and quality of life.
The communique said China would make technological self-sufficiency a “strategic support” for national development, with an aim to achieve major breakthroughs in key technologies by 2035.
China’s ambitious goals in technology will provide Australian tech firms with further market opportunities in health equipment, digital gaming, blockchain technology and e-commerce, where Australian start-ups have already taken significant steps into utilising China’s tech sector.
China plans to speed up and push forward green and low-carbon development. This comes off the announcement last month that China aims to peak in carbon emission by 2030 and drive emissions down to virtually zero by 2060. The action required is expected to set in motion powerful geopolitical and economic shifts which hold important implications for the future of fossil fuels, low-carbon technologies and climate diplomacy.
To achieve these ambitious targets, China will seek to transition its energy base to renewable energy, where Australian solar and wind energy technology could play a role in renewable energy generation and technological development both in China and Australia.
Chinese firms may look increasingly offshore to produce clean energy, prompting inbound investment opportunities and an internationalisation of China’s carbon market may also provide greater scope for Australia-China decarbonisation cooperation to meet global emissions reductions commitments.
The party said in the communique that China would deepen reforms in all aspects, including coordinated regional development and a new urbanisation drive.
An increase in China’s already 400 million strong middle class will create further opportunities for high quality, safe and clean Australian products as China’s urban centres expand and its regions develop and modernise further. Of interest to Australian companies will be the Greater Bay Area (including Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Guangzhou) which has been nominated as a strategic growth region.
To confront China’s demographic challenges, the party said China would implement strategies to address the ageing population, signalling further opportunities for Australian health and aged providers to assist as China seeks to professionalise its health sector and revolutionise the way it cares for its growing number of elderly citizens.
ACBC will continue to keep members informed on the emerging opportunities presented under China’s 14th 5 Year Plan as more details are revealed over the next 6 months. Stay tuned also opportunities to participate in our working groups that will focus on key sector opportunities.