News / Asia

China Pins Hopes on Bigger Spending to Boost Economy

China Pins Hopes on Bigger Spending to Reform Economyi
X
October 29, 2013 1:16 PM
China has long sought to shift from an export economy to one based more on domestic consumption. There are now signs those efforts are working, partly through incentives aimed at encouraging spending from domestic tourists. Keeping that trend on track is a top priority for Chinese leaders meeting in November. This report from VOA’s Beijing bureau.

China Pins Hopes on Bigger Spending to Reform Economy

VOA News
China has long sought to shift from an export economy to one based more on domestic consumption. There are now signs those efforts are working, partly through incentives aimed at encouraging spending from domestic tourists. Keeping that trend on track is a top priority for Chinese leaders meeting in November.
 
Beijing’s storied attractions such as the Lama Temple draw increasing numbers of Chinese each year.
 
During a recent holiday break, one such tourist who identified himself only as Zhou, says he and his family drove 1,500 kilometers from Sichuan to see the Forbidden City and other sights.
 
“Now we have holidays, time off to spend," Zhou said. "We have our own car and the government waives highway fees. We can save some money to spend for holidays. This is all very convenient.”  
 
While China's domestic spending is rising, families here still spend much less than their counterparts in the West.
 
Consumer spending still accounts for less than half of the country’s economic growth. In the United States, it’s responsible for more than two-thirds.
 
Economist Song Hong says as Chinese households grow wealthier, purchasing a car is a tipping point for spending more.
 
“Many households long to buy a car, and once they meet this need, they then go travel and spend money and enjoy other services,” he said.

Retail sales grew by more than 13 percent in August, the highest this year.  During China’s national holidays in October, the country set a new spending record, as some 31 million tourists spent more than $140 billion.
 
One key challenge is making it easier for Chinese from all walks of life to spend money more regularly. Professor Song says unequal income levels in cities and high saving levels in the countryside remain a stumbling block.

“The problem is in the rural areas where the social system is only now being created and the level of consumption remains low,” he explained.
 
The Chinese government is trying to encourage more spending through car-friendly policies such as subsidizing fuel during national holidays and waiving highway tolls.
 
Lan Lan and her friends came to Beijing from the western province of Xinjiang. During their first trip so far from home, they were watching their money carefully.

“We take part time jobs, save money and add in a little pocket money from our families to go travel,” she explained.
 
As Chinese communist leaders meet in November to outline economic policies for the next five years, they are expected to focus on how to make household spending a driving economic force, much like it is in other countries.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid