The eastern city of Wuxi is a major industrial center, with products including integrated circuits and biomedicine. Its per capita GDP is among the highest in China. Zhao Jianjun is Wuxi’s mayor and an NPC deputy. CGTN’s Gao Ang asked him about the city’s growth and future plans.
GAO ANG CGTN Reporter “Mr. Zhao, thank you for speaking to CGTN. Last year, Wuxi’s GDP increased by around 3%. But the city has set a target of 5% GDP growth this year. How will it achieve that?”
MAYOR ZHAO JIANJUN, Wuxi City, Jiangsu Province “One is to boost people’s confidence in social development. Confidence is more important than gold. In light of the epidemic’s test last year, the impact of strategic competition between China and the US, and the evolving international situation, the confidence of market players needs to be restored. So, stabilizing enterprises and market entities are the main goal and focus of all current efforts. A healthy policy environment, a good political and business environment, and the greatest possible business environment must all be provided in order to increase their confidence and stabilize expectations.
We intend to visit businesses more frequently this year, host more forums between government and business, and engage in more face-to-face interactions with businesses so we can hear more business perspectives. Also, we seek to improve the business climate and work to legalize, internationalize, and make it market-oriented. We want to provide good service to big, small and micro enterprises. With 1,080,000 market entities as of right now, we hope that all types of market entities can experience the best business environment in Wuxi.
The second is to boost consumption. Final consumption today makes up nearly 70% of our GDP, and it plays a fundamental role in driving economic growth. Therefore, the Central Economic Work Conference specifically proposed that the restoration and expansion of consumption should be given priority. Wuxi has one of the top ten highest per capita disposable incomes in China. Last year it was 65,800 yuan. The overall consumption capacity is still very strong, but relatively speaking, we still have room for improvement. We need to further optimize and create more consumption scenarios that allow the people to dare to create and consume.
Another is to continuously expand effective investment. Investment not only stabilizes economic growth, but it can also adjust the structure, because it can drive stock adjustment through incremental growth, and optimize the entire industrial and economic structure. Also, government investment is successful in improving people’s quality of life, particularly in areas like transportation and information infrastructure. Our goals for this year are that fixed asset investments will total 430 billion yuan and major industrial project investments will total 140 billion yuan.
In fact, there is another key word, ‘safe’. Safety must be prioritized above all else if we hope to meet the GDP growth target of more than 5%. It must be a safe and sustainable policy that the public accepts, regardless of whether the growth rate is greater than 5% or with better results.”
GAO ANG CGTN Reporter “You have been selected as a deputy to the 14th National People’s Congress. What suggestions, or motions, will you propose at this year’s Two Sessions meetings in Beijing?”
MAYOR ZHAO JIANJUN, Wuxi City, Jiangsu Province “I have several suggestions. One is about the integrated circuit. We would like to propose that the nation support Wuxi in creating a demonstration area for cooperative innovation and development of the integrated circuit industry chain based on Wuxi’s advantages in the entire industrial chain of integrated circuits, including packaging, testing, and special processes. This will enable us to make some contributions to the country in this strategic, leading and fundamental industry.
My second suggestion is related to the management of Taihu Lake. We have felt the pain, and it has been more than 15 years since the Taihu Lake water crisis in 2007. It should be noted that over the previous few years, the situation has been progressing extremely well. As a result, we offer some specific and useful suggestions for the entire Taihu Lake Basin, such as discharge standards, upstream-downstream coordination, ecological compensation, and more.
My third suggestion concerns the Yan-Tai-Xi-Chang-Yi Railway, which is crucial to both Wuxi and Jiangsu Province. Another suggestion is about promoting Wuxi to innovate and carry out the pilot program of digital comprehensive bonded zone construction.”