China’s Central Provinces Look to Expand Investment, Drive Growth of Digital Economies, in 2023

A raft of central China’s province-level governments have held their inaugural economic work meetings for 2023, highlighting efforts to drive growth in investment and the development of regional digital economies in the upcoming year.

At least six central Chinese provinces have already held their economic work meetings for 2023, including Shanxi, Henan, Anhui, Hubei, Jiangxi and Hunan.

The terms “expand investment” (扩大投资) have figured prominently in the meetings, with Henan province authorities stating they will strive to complete at least 2 trillion yuan in investment in 2023, with an especial focus on areas including industrial transformation and infrastructure development.

Shanxi province has already obtained a special bond quota of 35 billion yuan for 2023, while Anhui province has emphasised investment in the manufacturing sector this year, with its investment quota for the sector accounting for 70.8% of proposed total investment.

Hunan province hopes to spur private sector investment, after it accounted for 63.5% of all investment in the inland province during the period from January – November 2022, following year-on-year (YoY) growth of 8.8%.

According to the latest round of economic work reports, the digital economy is another focal area for regional policy in central China this year. Henan province will “comprehensively drive the development of digital infrastructure, while Hubei province has called for “actively seizing and occupying the new paths of the digital economy.”

Jiangxi province said it will “accelerate stimulus of the leadership strength of the digital economy, and continually strengthen the resilience and security levels of industry and supply chains.”

Figures from the “China Digital Economy Development Report (2022)” (中国数字经济发展报告(2022年)) indicate that five provinces in central China are already host to digital economies at least one trillion in size, including Hubei, Hunan, Henan, Anhui and Jiangxi.

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