In 2017, Anhui insisted on the general work guideline of making progress while maintaining stability. The province firmly established and implemented the new concept of development to master the “new normal” that leads economic development. The province deems the improvement of the development quality and efficiency as the core, and promotion of the supply-side structural reform as the main line. It fully implemented the action plan based on Five Major Development Concepts. It coordinated efforts to stabilize growth, promote reform, readjust the structure, improve people’s livelihoods and prevent risks. As a result, the province’s economy has been running steadily and soundly to demonstrate social harmony and stability that is critically important to fit into the grand and beautiful picture of Anhui’s future.
National Economy Maintains the Momentum of Stable and Sound Development
The province’s economy maintains medium-to-high speed of growth. Last year, the annual regional gross domestic product of the province accounted for 2.75187 trillion yuan. Anhui’s economy grew 8.5 percent in 2017. The structural proportion of the primary, secondary and tertiary industries was readjusted as 9.5:49:41.5, with the service sector being increased by 0.4 percent. The efﬁciency was further improved. The province’s fiscal revenue reached 485.8 billion yuan, with an increase of 11.1 percent. The profit accomplished by the industrial enterprises above designated size was increased by 19.7 percent. The energy consumption per unit of regional GDP was decreased by 5.28 percent. The aggregate demand was moderately expanded. The total retail sales of social consumer goods were 1.11926 trillion yuan, an increase of 11.9 percent. The province’s investment in ﬁxed assets in 2017 reached 2.9186 trillion yuan, with an increase of 11 percent. The number of completed key projects with the investment exceeding 100 billion yuan was 1698.
There are 2,691 newly-started construction projects. The total import and export volume was 363.16 billion yuan, an increase of 23.7 percent. The employment and commodity prices remained stable. Throughout the province, about 682,000 new work opportunities were created for urban dwellers. The registered unemployment rate in cities and towns was 2.88 percent, with the unemployment claims falling to the lowest level in recent years. The residential consumption price rose by 1.2 percent. The vitality of the market has been continuously enhanced. The number of newly-registered market entities was 704,000, an increase of 17.1 percent. Of which, 232,000 are newly-registered enterprises, with an increase of 21.9 percent. The existing enterprises amounted to 1 million.
The Construction of Innovative Modern Industrial System Gets Accelerated
The province thoroughly carried out innovation-driven development strategy. The province’s scientiﬁc and technological innovation capacity and transformation of scientific and technological achievements have been greatly improved. The regional innovation capacity has continuously ranked Anhui among the nation’s forefront. The approval for the construction of Hefei Comprehensive National Science Center will contribute tremendously to the improvement of the nation’s strategic science strength. The province systematically promoted the comprehensive innovation pilot reform and pushed vigorously forward the construction of national Hefei-Wuhu-Bengbu independent innovation demonstration zone. The regional innovation network was continuously improved. The number of authorized patents per 10,000 people was increased from 1.29 to 7.7. The province vigorously implemented the strategy of innovation-driven development. The ownership of invention patents per 10,000 people reached 7.7. Last year, the province had an additional one national engineering laboratory, one national key laboratory, five nation-province collaborative engineering research centers (engineering laboratories) and four national industrial design centers. Additional 25 experts were recognized by the national “the Recruitment Program of Global Experts” (known as “the Thousand Talents Plan”), under which it would bring in overseas top talents to China. The province supported heavily 48 high-caliber innovation and entrepreneurial teams. A total of 103,000 young people were trained to be added into the highly skilled workforce that is considered to help the province’s current and future workforce adapt to the demands of an innovation-driven economy. Emerging industry was booming. The output value of strategic emerging industry grew by 21.4 percent, accounting for 24.7 percent of the total output value of the industries above designated size. The intelligent voice of iFLYTEK was ranked among the nation’s four open innovation platforms of artificial intelligence. The nation’s first smart hospital was approved to be put into operation. (A ‘Smart Hospital’ relies on optimized and automated processes, aiming at improving existing patient care procedures and introducing new capabilities. The core competitiveness of manufacturing industry has been significantly improved. The added value of high-tech industry and equipment manufacturing industry accounted for 40.2 percent and 35.8 percent of the industrial added value above designated size respectively. BOE has started mass production of its Generation 10.5 TFT-LCD line. The output of 6-axis industrial robots ranks Anhui ﬁrst in the nation. The modern service industry has accelerated its development. Additional 30 modern service industry agglomeration areas with provincial signiﬁcance were set up. At the same time, 16 modern service industry agglomeration demonstration parks were identiﬁed.
Reform in Important Fields is Further Deepened
The province continued to push forward the reform of decentralization, administration and optimization of services and other reforms, further ease market access and stimulate market vitality so that more human resources can exert their creative power in the market space. It is the ﬁrst province in the nation to publish the list of responsibilities and takes the lead to implement the system of publishing the list of government responsibilities and the list of government powers for the governments at the provincial, municipal, county and township levels. A full coverage of the list of government responsibilities and powers was achieved. The pace of investment and financing system reforms has been accelerated. Corporate investment projects have been adopted in the form of effective and strategic catalogue management that helps to ensure the quality of the projects. The online approval and supervision platform for investment projects has received more than 300,000 transactions. The reform of state-funded and state-owned enterprises have been intensiﬁed. Anhui Construction Group Company became a wholly listing company at the stock exchange market. Some enterprises including Anhui Natural Gas Company and Provincial Transportation Planning and Design Institute have completed initial public offerings. The ﬁnancial reform of ﬁnance and taxation was proceeding in an orderly manner. The reform tasks such as Business-Tax-To-Vat Reform (an effort to convert business tax to the value added tax), resource tax and environmental protection tax, were effectively implemented. Xin’an Bank, the province’s first private bank, was officially inaugurated. The reform of the property rights system and market-oriented allocation of factors has been actively promoted. Last year, 16 public resource trading platforms have been set up.
Anhui is on its Way to Becoming a New Frontier in China’s Inland Regional Opening-up
The province implements the comprehensively opening-up strategy of two-way interaction, and internal and external links. It stands out increasingly in the role of the interconnection of “the Belt and Road” initiative and the Yangtze River Economic Belt. The quality and efﬁciency of the development of the open economy continued improving. In 2017, the total import and export volume of the province was US$53.64 billion, up by 20.8 percent. The export volume of automobiles ranked Anhui first in the nation for 12 consecutive years. Additional seven overseas companies out of Global Top 500 began to invest in Anhui. Up to now, all together 80 overseas companies out of the Global Top 500 locate 152 of their businesses in Anhui. Outbound investment and contracting projects in countries and regions along the “Belt and Road” were increased by 22 percent and 32 percent respectively. The annual assessment of the province’s three industrial and technological development zones with national significance ranked Hefei, Wuhu and Tongling forefront among their counterparts in the nation. The number of the province’s four areas under special customs supervision, four bonded logistics centers (Type B), and eleven designated entry ports ranks Anhui foremost in the central part of China. The international freight routes have extended continuously. Related authorities have increased frequency of China-Europe international freight train service departing from Hefei. It is announced that the province saw a record high number of cargo trains running to and from Europe, hitting the number of 70 cargo trains annually. “Single-window system” of China (Anhui) international trade has been put into operation. The implementation of a single window system enables international (cross-border) traders to submit regulatory documents at a single location and/or single entity. The time duration for port customs clearance has been reduced by one third. The province successfully hosted the 10th Expo Central China and China International Hui Merchants Fair 2017. In addition, the global promotion event presenting Anhui Province by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China with the theme of “An Open China: Splendid Anhui, Welcoming the World”, the 2nd conference of China-Russia “Yangtze River - Volga River” local cooperation council were successfully held.
Coordinated Rural-urban Regional Development has been Enhanced
Anhui accelerates the construction of the pilot urbanization province. A total of 813 km of urban green road was built. The province renovated and upgraded 82.44 million square meters green land. “The construction of one circle, one belt and three areas” was actively promoted. That is to say, the province has vigorously promoted the development of regional development platforms such as Hefei Metropolitan Economic Development Circle, Anhui Demonstration Zone for Industrial Relocation into Cities along the Yangtze River, North Anhui Area, South Anhui International Cultural Tourism Demonstration Area, and the Old Revolutionary Base Areas in Western Anhui. Hefei Metropolitan Area has signed the cooperation framework agreement of 8 projects. The province carried out in-depth the implementation of Anhui Demonstration Zone for Industrial Relocation into Cities along the Yangtze River. The economic growth of Northern Anhui Area surpassed the province’s average for the ﬁrst time in a consequence of ﬁve years. The construction of South Anhui International Cultural Tourism Demonstration Area was pushed forward at a high standard. A number of blueprints for improving transportation infrastructure and agriculture with special characteristics were compiled and completed. The integrated development with Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang was accelerated. Anhui continued to improve the health policy and to ensure the delivery of comprehensive lifecycle health services for its residents. A trans-regional medical treatment settlement system has also been built ahead of schedule, allowing any patient enrolled in the public medical insurance system to be reimbursed for inpatient expenses, no matter where they are treated. The construction of the Yangtze River Delta regional cooperation demonstration area of national credit cooperation has been promoted in depth.
New Progress has been Made in Agriculture and Work of Rural Areas
Agricultural supply-side structural reform was pushed forward solidly. The total output of grain was 34.76 billion kg, hitting the second highest record. It marks a fourteenth consecutive year of bumper harvest. The agro-industrial value-added was increased by 9.2 percent. County level e-commerce public service centers, rural logistics distribution centers and rural e-commerce service network have covered all parts of the province’s 76 counties (county-level cities and districts). The endogenous power for development was improved steadily. The reform of rural “three conversions” was realized in 755 villages. The reform of rural “three conversions” indicates “resources converting to assets, capital converting to dividends, peasants converting to share-holders.” The province has unveiled what it claims to be the country’s bravest pilot project of reforming collectively-owned rural assets based on a shareholding cooperative system. Agricultural workers can voluntarily turn their rights in collective operating assets into shares and acquire corresponding revenue. The number of pilot villages reached 1,253. About 42.9 percent of the rural land has achieved the transferring of use rights of collective-owned land. The rural residential environment has been improved signiﬁcantly. The 483 thousand rural households in the natural villages have been rebuilt, and 221 township governments have been building sewage treatment facilities. The 10 villages have been listed as the national demonstration village for improving the rural residential environment. Anhui made necessary efforts to upgrade the province’s toilets and sewage processing facilities as part of an ongoing “toilet revolution” campaign. Last year, about 483,000 peasants household toilets and 221 township seat sewage treatment facilities were reconstructed and renovated.
Remarkable Achievements have been Achieved in the Poverty Alleviation
The province’s poverty-stricken population has fallen from 6.791 million at the end of 2012 to 1.202 million at the end of 2017, reducing 5.589 million. According to the “targeted poverty alleviation” strategy, Anhui has not only managed to bring numerous impoverished people out of poverty, but has also provided them with sustainable measures for further development. Anhui’s “targeted poverty alleviation” strategy, to be more speciﬁc, means more targeted support subjects, proper project arrangement, help from enterprises and farmers’ cooperatives, so that the benefits can be brought to the recipients themselves. No one should be left behind. Anhui took the lead in the nation to implement poverty alleviation through photovoltaic projects in a large scale. The cumulative installed capacity reached 1.993 million kilowatts, ranking ﬁrst in the nation. The province identiﬁed 3,002 employment and poverty alleviation bases, constructed 1,282 employment and poverty alleviation stations, created 74,600 auxiliary jobs, and assisted 131,500 impoverished laborers to be employed. The “one-stop” service and the poverty-stricken family doctor contract system were fully implemented. The policy of poverty alleviation through education was fully implemented and the security of housing was obviously strengthened. The one-to-one poverty alleviation system was further strengthened. Throughout the province, “thousands of enterprises were mobilized to help thousands of villages” which was deemed as part of the precision poverty alleviation action. Twenty economically developed counties (cities, districts) were called on to help twenty poverty-stricken counties of national signiﬁcance to be lifted out of poverty.
Cultural Undertakings and Culture-powered Economy Flourished Remarkably
The socialism with Chinese characteristics and the Chinese Dream are deeply rooted in the hearts of the people. The socialist core values are widely carried forward. Anhui’s efforts to promote ideological, ethical and cultural progress resulted in the nomination of a number of cities as the nationally advanced cities of ethical and cultural progress by the Ofﬁce of the National Steering Committee for Ethical and Cultural Progress, including Ma’anshan, Hefei, Tongling, Wuhu, Huaibei, Bengbu, Xuancheng and Anqing. This number ranks Anhui third in the nation. All together 1,162 people were selected as “China Good Folks.” The number of “China Good Folks” ranked Anhui first in the nation for the 10th consecutive year. With the commitment to culturally beneﬁtting the people program dedicated to cultural flourishing and community outreach, the public cultural facilities are accessible in all counties and townships in the province. Anhui’s cultural sector has become a vibrant community with considerable vitality. Throughout the year, a number of works were granted national awards of all categories, for instance, 11 works won the “Five One Project” award, and 5 people won the “Plum Blossom Prize” for Chinese dramas. The Grand Canal (Anhui Section) was selected as the World’s Cultural Heritage. The cultural industry developed rapidly. The integrated strength of Anhui Publishing Group and Anhui Xinhua Distribution Group makes them remain among the nation’s top 30. The overall development of the national fitness and competitive sports attracted extensive attention and received an enthusiastic response from the whole society. The province continued to strengthen efforts to develop philosophy, the social science, counselor work, literature and history, archives, local annals. The main theme of the province’s focus on creating a high-performance culture to drive societal success is certainly a step in the right direction and brings a wave of positive attention, raising the proﬁle of its culture and arts scene.