【China Daily】王孝松:On road to better high-quality development

Since its founding in 1949, the People`s Republic of China`s industrial structure hasgone through several significant changes. In 1949, China was a typicalagricultural country, with the primary, secondary and tertiary industryaccounting for 58.5 percent, 25.9 percent and 15.6 percent of its GDP.

The national economy recovered after three years of tenuous efforts, followingwhich China introduced planned economy.

From 1958 to 1978, China strengthened its industrial structure. For instance, duringthe First Five-Year Plan (1953-57), China optimized its industrial structure byfocusing on the core task of facilitating socialist industrialization.

During this period, China`s industrial structure was generally unbalanced, as thedevelopment of the primary industry seriously lagged behind the global level,the secondary industry developed at an excessively fast pace and the tertiaryindustry developed at a relatively slow rate. But despite having an imbalancedindustrial structure before 1978, China had built a relatively sound andindependent industrial structure and economic system.

The launch of reform and opening-up in 1978 boosted China`s economic development;as a result, the country`s industrial structure began improving at a rapidpace. The period between 1978 and 1992 saw the Chinese economy transitioningfrom planed economy to market economy, which significantly changed the resourcedistribution pattern. During this period, the primary industry grew from 102.75billion yuan to 586.66 billion yuan, the secondary industry from 174.52 billionyuan to 1.17 trillion yuan, and the tertiary industry from 87.25 billion yuanto 935.74 billion yuan.

Between 1993 and 2003, China deepened reform and opening-up. The reform of State-ownedenterprises injected new vitality into large-scale SOEs, while smaller SOEsdeveloped at a faster rate thanks to restructuring. This period also saw Chinafurther opening up its economy to the outside world, more activelyparticipating in the international division of labor and enjoying the dividendsof globalization.

After 2003, the proportion of agriculture in China`s GDP declined sharply, with theproportion of industry remaining stable and that of the service sectorincreasing sharply. The agricultural, industrial and service sectors accountedfor 12.8 percent, 46.0 percent and 41.2 percent of China`s GDP.

China experienced an overheated economy from 2004 to 2007, and encountered seriousnatural disasters and the global financial crisis in 2008. By 2009, China`sindustrial structure had further improved following fluctuations andadjustments, and the agricultural, industrial and service sectors accounted for10.3 percent, 46.2 percent and 43.5 percent of its GDP.

In 2012, for the first time the tertiary industry`s share of GDP equaled that ofthe secondary industry - at 45.3 percent.

By theend of last year, the share of the tertiary industry in GDP had increased to52.2 percent, reflecting the characteristics of the post-industrializationeconomic structure-in which the tertiary industry accounts for more than 50percent of national GDP.

Since the launch of reform and opening-up, the primary industry has seen a drasticdecline while the secondary industry`s share in GDP has been around 40 percent,which shows the latter remains a significant driver of China`s economy.

In general, the transformation of its industrial structure has made China theworld`s second-largest economy and the largest commodity exporter. Thecommodity export structure of China, too, has undergone a drastic change, withthe proportion of manufactured goods in China`s overall exports increasing from48.3 percent in 1980 to 88.8 percent in 1997 and to 95.1 percent in 2012.

The rapid growth of its manufacturing industry made China the "factory of theworld", and gradually the "factory of the world for high-techproducts".

And China is expected to further optimize its industrial structure to realize evenbetter high-quality development.


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