This episode covers November’s manufacturing, retail and services data, and unemployment rate; the new guideline to stabilise domestic demand; outcomes of the Central Economic Work Conference; and a plan to promote the development of modern logistics by 2025. From the Chamber side, its Intellectual Property Rights Working Group submitted comments to the China National Intellectual Property Administration on the revised draft of the Patent Examination Guidelines.
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November economic data (in Chinese):
Guideline on improving domestic demand:
Central Economic Work Conference
Plan to promote the development of modern logistics:
European Chamber’s comments to CNIPA:
RUI: Hello and welcome to China Shortcuts,
MARIANN: the European Chamber’s weekly catchup about the Chinese business landscape.
RUI: Data released by China’s National Bureau of Statistics, on 15th December, shows that COVID-19 pandemic control measures continued to weigh heavily on the country’s economic activity in November.
MARIANN: Production at large industrial firms expanded 2.2 per cent year-on-year — the slowest pace seen since May, when the stringent lockdown of numerous cities across China, including Shanghai, brought many companies’ operations to a halt. November’s production data was the third weakest recorded for any month since March 2020, when China’s economy started to rebound from the first onset of COVID-19.
Retail sales were also lacklustre, shrinking 5.9 per cent year-on-year in November amid weak domestic demand. Services were hit especially hard by COVID control measures, with catering revenue falling by more than 8 per cent. The surveyed urban unemployment rate inched up slightly from the previous month, reaching 5.7 per cent in November. Despite improving marginally, youth unemployment remained above 17 per cent in November.
RUI: On 14th December, The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council jointly issued a new guideline aimed at the long-term stabilisation of domestic demand.
MARIANN: The main objective set out by the new guideline is the establishment of a sound domestic demand system by 2035. To accomplish this, China seeks to boost investment in consumption, improve the quality of supply to better meet demand, and address distribution gaps by 2025. The plan also emphasises the promotion of digital industrialisation and industrial digitalisation, as well as the construction of a digital society and digital government.
RUI: On 16th December, China’s top leadership concluded the two-day Central Economic Work Conference, where it was agreed that a renewed emphasis will be placed on stabilising growth.
MARIANN: A host of major policy objectives were outlined to facilitate the recovery of China’s COVID-hit economy. Apart from reinforcing GDP growth, stabilising the labour market, boosting domestic demand and rebuilding market confidence were set as key priorities for next year. The government will also move forward with plans to further optimise its pandemic control measures, to minimise their impact on economic activity and people’s lives. Through these steps, China aims to achieve a strong strong economic rebound during the first half of 2023.
RUI: According to a circular released on 15th December, China’s State Council approved a plan to promote the development of modern logistics infrastructure by 2025.
MARIANN: The plan emphasised the establishment of a safe, efficient, smart and green logistics system, that strikes a better balance between supply and demand, and improves the connectivity between domestic and international logistic chains. In addition, it stressed the need to improve the quality and efficiency of China’s logistics networks, all while reducing costs through various methods, including the sharing of logistics resources and speeding up inventory turnovers. Finally, the circular also underlined the importance of building an international logistics network, and the construction of supporting facilities for green energy transition.
RUI: On 15th December, the European Chamber’s Intellectual Property Rights Working Group submitted comments to the China National Intellectual Property Administration on the revised draft of the Patent Examination Guidelines.
MARIANN: The Chamber’s member companies submitted detailed comments and suggestions on how to improve the new guidelines. Overall, the revised draft mainly aims at supporting amendments to the new Patent Law. The revised draft of the guideline includes a section on the extension of pharmaceutical patent terms, which is of great significance for pharmaceutical innovation, and as such, the Chamber looks forward to its implementation.
RUI: Thanks for listening. Tune in again in January, when we will be back with new episodes each week.
MARIANN: In the meantime, find useful links in the episode notes.