Report on the Work of the Government
-Delivered at the Second Session of the 13th Guangdong Provincial People’s Congress on January 28, 2019
MA Xingrui, Governor of Guangdong Province
*The English version of this Report is for reference only. Click to download the full text of government work report.
On behalf of the People’s Government of Guangdong, I will now report to you on the work of the government for your deliberation and approval. I also invite comments from the members of the Guangdong Provincial Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and other attendees present at the session today.
I. Review of Work in 2018
2018, the year just passed, marked the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening up and a milestone in the course of the development and reform of Guangdong Province. On March 7, General Secretary Xi Jinping made important remarks when joining a group deliberation of deputies from Guangdong Province to the First Session of the 13th National People's Congress. He explicitly instructed that Guangdong should work hard and strive to be “a forerunner of the country in four aspects”, and the “two important windows of China”. From October 22 to 25, General Secretary Xi Jinping made inspection tour in Guangdong and gave important instructions including deepening reform and opening up, promoting high-quality economic growth, promoting more balanced and coordinated development and strengthening Party leadership and Party building. On December 26, General Secretary Xi Jinping gave important instructions concerning the future development of Shenzhen. General Secretary’s important remarks and instructions have provided fundamental rules and powerful force for Guangdong to start a new journey in the new era for further reform and opening up. Over the past year, with the instructions of General Secretary Xi Jinping kept in mind and guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, we have fully implemented the guiding principles of the 19th CPC National Congress and the second and third plenary sessions of the 19th CPC Central Committee. We have implemented the decisions made by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council and the "1+1+9" working plan of the CPC Guangdong Provincial Committee. We have upheld the underlying principle of making progress while ensuring stability, remained committed to the new development philosophy, promoted high quality development, and coordinated all work to maintain stable growth, promote reform, make structural adjustments, improve living standards, guard against risks and ensure stability. As a result, we have made new achievements in social and economic development across the province, and basically completed the main tasks established at the first session of the 13th Guangdong Provincial People's Congress.
The following are the highlights of our work over the past year:
First, we fully implemented the macro regulation policies of the central government, exerted great efforts to maintain stability in employment, finance, foreign trade, foreign capital, investment and expectations, and achieved steady and healthy economic development in the province. Confronted with the complicated and changing domestic and international economic environment, we have taken effective measures to keep major indicators within an appropriate range. Guangdong’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) reached 9.73 trillion yuan, a year-on-year growth of 6.8%. The general public budget revenue reached 1.21 trillion yuan, a comparable growth of 7.9%. The disposable income per capita stood at 35,800 yuan, up by 8.5%, and the consumer price increased by 2.2%. Greater efforts have been made to shore up the weak links in infrastructure, including the investment in provincial key projects of over 700 billion yuan and fixed-asset investment up by 10.7%. We have pledged our full support for hosting China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair), China Hi-Tech Fair and China International SME Fair and actively participated in China International Import Expo. The total import and export of the year reached 7.16 trillion yuan, an increase of 5.1%. More efforts have been made to attract investment in major projects and industry chains. As a result, the actual use of foreign investment across the province reached 145.09 billion yuan, up by 4.9%, and particularly, that in manufacturing industry grew by 57.9%. Consumption has been upgraded with the total retail sales of consumer goods increasing by 8.8%. Financial sector has been strengthened to better serve the real economy with a total direct financing of 1.16 trillion yuan, up by 40%, and the loans to private enterprises accounted for 61.8% of the newly added loans to enterprises. Measures have been taken to facilitate employment. As a result, 1.476 million new urban jobs were created and the registered urban unemployment rate was 2.41%; the employment situation has remained stable.
Second, we have been boosting the development of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (the GBA) to high standards and made significant progress in innovating the systems and institutions for the pilot free trade zone, hence further promoting our opening up and cooperation. General Secretary Xi Jinping planned, deployed and promoted in person the development of the GBA and officially announced the opening of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge. The GBA has seen substantial progress in its planning and development. We resolutely implemented the decisions made by the central government and established a sound steering mechanism to boost the development of the GBA. Focusing on institutional innovation, we implemented the policies and measures that facilitate the residents in Hong Kong and Macao to live, study or work in the Chinese mainland, making breakthroughs in cross-border use of research funds, cancellation of employment permit and provision of residence permit for Hong Kong and Macao residents. We worked to promote the development of the international science and technology innovation center and Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong-Macao Science and Technology Innovation Corridor. We sped up the construction of the iconic infrastructure projects. Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong High-speed Rail was put into operation, the policy of juxtaposed border control was implemented, and projects such as Liantang / Heung Yuen Wai Boundary Control Point, and the new channel between Guangdong and Macao were accelerated. Guangdong-Macao Cooperative Development Fund was established and put in place. The plan for deepening the reform in China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone was approved by the central government, entitling the Zone with 40 autonomous rights in reform and shortening the negative list of foreign investment to 45 items. We promoted 91 sample cases of reform and innovation across the province, and further strengthened the alignment with Hong Kong regulations on service sector such as legal services and financial payment. We actively engaged in the Belt and Road Initiative, increasing our total trade with and actual investment in the en-route countries/regions by 7.3% and 64.2% respectively. The customs clearance time for import and export was cut by 56.7% and 59.8% respectively, a significant progress in trade facilitation. We achieved substantial progress in external exchanges and cooperation. We signed MOUs with 8 Pacific Island countries that have established diplomatic relations with China, and twinned with another 5 provinces/cities, adding the total to 195. The Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City was upgraded to a bilateral cooperative project on national level, and 26 overseas economic and trade representative offices were set up. We successfully hosted such events as China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai, Imperial Springs International Forum and the 2nd USIP World Police Service Pistol Shooting Championship.
Thirdly, we stayed highly committed to the “three critical battles against potential risk, poverty, and pollution”, addressed problems in key areas with substantial measures, and kicked off the three-year action plan with a good start. We guarded vigorously in the battle against potential risk and ensured that risks in all sectors are on the whole manageable. We advanced the transformation of rural credit cooperatives into commercial banks with might and main. Among the 64 cooperatives to be transformed across the province, 58 ones have made the application, including 24 ones already licensed to operate. That, accordingly, reduced non-performing loans by about 36 billion yuan. We strengthened the efforts to mitigate on-line financial risks and shut down 169 fraudulent P2P online lending platforms. We set up bailout funds of over 100 billion yuan at provincial and municipal levels, effectively mitigating the risk of equity pledge of listed companies. We worked to regulate the activities of local government debts. We fully identified and proactively defused hidden debts, and maintained the overall safety of government debts. We saw the liquidations of 885 state-owned "zombie enterprises" of the province and a falling debt ratio of state-owned enterprises, and thus the investment and operation risks of state-owned enterprises were effectively managed. We took resolute and targeted measures in the battle against poverty. A total of 571,000 new jobs were created for migrant workers and local residents. The minimum annual living allowance for rural low-income households increased to more than 5,280 yuan per capita. The renovation of dilapidated houses for poverty-stricken households was basically completed. With their detailed information documented, households in poverty were entitled to the provision of basic food and clothing and secured with the equal access to education, medical care and housing. We collaborated with neighboring provinces like Guangxi, Sichuan, Yunnan and Guizhou in poverty elimination and invested total aid funds of 3.927 billion yuan with 1517 poverty alleviation projects in 2018. We were determined to win the battle against pollution. The battle was heavily financed with an input of 15 billion yuan in 2018 and the total input for the following three years is estimated to be 68.3 billion yuan. We launched a new round of Blue Sky Campaign. The bus electrification rate was increased to 81% , the province’s air quality reached Grade II of the National Standard for four years in a row, and the annual PM2.5 concentrations reduced to a record low of 31 micro-gram per cubic meter. We instituted the river chief and lake chief systems to promote the all-around treatment of the heavily polluted rivers such as Maozhou River, Lianjiang River and the rivers crossing Guangzhou and Foshan. We addressed 925 environmental problems in drinking water sources and treated 185 black and malodorous urban water bodies. With 7,615-kilometer newly-built urban sewage pipes, we increased our domestic sewage treatment capacity by 1.59 million ton/day; our capacity for domestic waste treatment increased by 27,000 ton/day, and that for hazardous waste treatment by 280,000 ton/year. We basically completed the detailed investigation of soil pollution in agricultural land. It is estimated that energy consumption per unit of GDP has fallen by 3.2%. We have drawn red lines for ecological protection. We reforested 3.8 million mu of land area, built 7 new forest parks and 29 wetland parks. All nine cities in the Pearl River Delta were inscribed into the list of National Forest City. 537 hectares of mining areas were reforested. We rectified the illegal buildings of 103 million square meters and completed the “Three-Old Renovation” (old towns, old factory buildings and old villages) of 68,400 mus.
Fourth, we furthered the supply-side structural reform, formulated a series of policies and measures and strengthened the development of the real economy. We enhanced the institutional supply and policy innovation, implemented national policies of slashing taxes and fees, formulated policies and measures such as Ten Policies on Real Economy (Revision), Ten Policies on Private Sector and Nine Policies on Promoting Employment, and improved the Guangdong Entrepreneur and Governor Face-to-face Consultation mechanism, aiming to address the challenges and issues that impede the development of enterprises. The province has cut taxes and fees by another 160 billion yuan, and further energized market entities. The number of individually-owned businesses and private enterprises exceeded 10 million. The added value of private sector reached 5.26 trillion yuan, accounting for 54.1% of the GDP. The formulation of Ten Policies on Foreign Investment (Revision) and Nine Policies on Stabilizing Foreign Trade further enhanced the access of foreign investment to the manufacturing and financial sectors. We established a fast track mechanism to better connect the provincial leadership and multinational corporations. Major projects including the BASF Verbund in Zhanjiang and the petrochemical complex of ExxonMobil in Huizhou were settled in Guangdong. We cultivated more new forms of foreign trade with the cross-border e-commerce transaction increasing by 72% and the export through market procurement trade doubled. We launched action plans to promote sustainable growth of industrial investment. The number of industrial enterprises above designated size in Guangdong increased by 8439, reaching more than 50,000 in total, ranking first in the nation. We worked to improve the quality and efficiency of manufacturing sector, kicked off a new three-year action plan for industrial technological transformation and encouraged 3,000 companies to migrate to the Cloud and Platform. The added value of industries above designated size was increased by 6.3%, and that of advanced manufacturing and high-tech manufacturing industries accounted for 56.4% and 31.5% respectively. Twelve Guangdong companies are listed in Fortune Global 500 companies. Greater efforts were exerted to build Guangdong into a leader in product quality, and the province has been rated Grade A in the national quality assessment for 4 consecutive years. We reclaimed paddy fields and resumed farming by demolishing unused housing, made full use of the policies on offsetting cultivated land used for other purposes and linking newly-added cropland quotas with the amount of land used for construction, and allowed for the open transaction and circulation of quotas of paddy fields and reclamation within the province as a way to meet the demand of key projects for land.