Home Voices Steady Growth of Chinese Economy Signals Bright Future for China-Rwanda Relations

Steady Growth of Chinese Economy Signals Bright Future for China-Rwanda Relations

by WANG Xuekun 
12:32 pm

An employee works on the solar cell production line of a company in Huzhou, Zhejiang province. This is one of the “new three products” of China-electric vehicles, lithium-ion batteries, and solar cells.

In current volatile and turbulent world, the international arena witnesses a surge in instability, uncertainty, and unforeseeable factors, coupled with insufficient momentum and subdued prospects for global economic growth. The Chinese government, adhering to the principle of seeking progress while maintaining stability, has made positive strides in various aspects such as constructing a new development paradigm, promoting high-quality development, and comprehensively deepening reform and opening-up. The stable and positive momentum of the Chinese economy is continuously being consolidated and strengthened, just as mirrored in the vitality and prosperity of the recent Spring Festival, a roaring start to the Year of Dragon with booming market.

Notable Economic Achievements in China in 2023

China’s economy remains on a positive trajectory over the long run, showcasing remarkable resilience. The past year witnessed an overall rebound with main projected targets achieved, vividly demonstrating its economic vitality and strengths. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) exceeded 126 trillion yuan, representing a growth rate of 5.2%.

Among others, the tertiary industry showed outstanding performance with an increase of 5.8%, making the greatest contribution to economic growth. From the perspective of domestic circulation, the final consumption expenditure contributed 82.5% to the economic growth. And the growing contribution of domestic demand to economic growth indicates more significance of domestic circulation in driving economic development.

Over the next decade, China’s middle-income group is projected to reach 800 million people, with nearly 300 million rural-to-urban migrants accelerating urbanization, thereby generating substantial consumption demand and robust impetus for consumption upgrades in housing, education, healthcare, and elderly care. From the perspective of domestic-international dual circulation, the total import and export value reached 41.76 trillion yuan and the number of foreign trade entities surpassed 600,000 for the first time. The combined exports of “new three products” – electric vehicles, lithium-ion batteries, and solar cells – amounted to 1.06 trillion yuan, growing by 29.9%.

China absorbed foreign investment of 1.1 trillion yuan, with 53,766 new foreign-invested enterprises established, marking a year-on-year increase of 39.7%. This indicates that the fundamentals of Chinese economy will remain stable and sound in the long run, and the “magnetic attraction” of the Chinese market for foreign investment is growing stronger.

Positive Economic Outlook for China in 2024

The fundamental trend of the economic recovery and long-term positive outlook remains unchanged, exhibiting several distinct characteristics: Firstly, the economy demonstrates strong resilience. China possesses abundant capital resources, with its annual capital formation accounting for 30% of the global total. With a robust industrial foundation, China is the only country that covers all industrial categories in the United Nations Industrial Classification, boasting over 200 mature industrial clusters and topping the global ranking in manufacturing scale for 13 consecutive years. China’s “ talent dividend” is increasingly prominent, with the total amount of human resources, scientific and technological human resources and R&D personnel ranking first in the world. Secondly, China exhibits strong innovation capabilities. China’s total social expenditure on R&D and investment in high-tech industries have maintained double-digit growth for many years. It currently leads the world in patent applications, with the number of high-tech enterprises reaching about 400,000 and ranking second globally in the number of unicorn enterprises. Among the 153 “lighthouse factories” released by the World Economic Forum, representing the highest level of intelligent manufacturing worldwide, there are 62 in China, accounting for over 40%. Thirdly, China boasts a large market size. According to World Bank data, China currently accounts for 28.7% of global manufacturing output and 30% of the global added value of manufacturing, roughly equivalent to the sum of the G7 members. In 2023, China became the world’s largest exporter of automobiles. China is actively promoting green and low-carbon transformation, seeking to generate significant development increments in areas such as green infrastructure, green energy, green transportation, and green living, with an estimated market size of 10 trillion yuan annually.

Bright Prospects for China-Rwanda Cooperation

In recent years, under the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, China has been supporting Rwanda’s projects in various fields such as infrastructure, manufacturing, agriculture, trade, and investment. In terms of infrastructure, China has promoted the reconstruction and expansion of the Masaka Hospital, the upgrading of municipal roads and the Nyabarongo River Hydropower Station, strongly supporting the economic development and improvement of people’s livelihoods of Rwanda. In terms of manufacturing, Chinese companies have actively established factories covering clothing, medicine, and TV sets, generating considerable economic benefits and creating a large number of employment opportunities. In terms of agriculture, Chinese techniques for cultivating mushrooms and Juncao have taken root in Rwanda, with over 35,000 farmers receiving training in Juncao cultivation, and more than 3,800 households and over 50 companies and cooperatives engaged in mushroom cultivation. In terms of investment, China is currently one of Rwanda’s largest partners. According to the data released by RDB, China invested $182.4 million in Rwanda in 2022, accounting for 11.2% of the total FDI, ranking first. Recently, more entrepreneurs came to Rwanda seeking investment opportunities, who are quite fond of the social safety and amiable policies, indicating more and more new opportunities of bilateral cooperation.

The friendship between China and Rwanda is profound and extensive with a long history. The bilateral relations are more promising than ever. It is hoped that the two countries will continue to collaborate towards common goals, jointly achieve win-win cooperation and common development, and work together to build a China-Rwanda and China-Africa community with a shared future.

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