|A press conference is held by the first session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC) in Beijing, capital of China, March 7, 2013. Wan Gang (3rd R), the minister of science and technology, answered questions at the press conference.(Xinhua/Wang Song) |
China’s phenomenal growth has made it the second largest economy in the world. But the labor-intensive, resource-consuming model is no longer a viable strategy. On the sidelines of the ongoing two sessions, Wan Gang, Minister of Science and Technology, has highlighted the urgency for innovation-driven growth to achieve sustainability.
A great stride in science and innovation.
Wan Gang says the country has initiated vigorous policies to advance reform. The numbers paint a grand picture.
China’s gross expenditure on R&D (GRED) stood at over one trillion yuan, or about two percent of the GDP. China’s full time R&D workforce now exceeds over three million, making it No. 1 in the world. In 2012, the number of invention patents increased by 26% on the previous year and the country has seen increases in both technology contract trading volume, and in the output value of high tech industries.
As a result of the fast development, science and technology contributed to over half of last year’s economic growth, up about three percent.
Wan Gang, Minister of Science and Technology, said, "In particular, we have created favorable policies for SMEs, to solve the bottleneck in their development. Last year, we invested over 4 billion yuan in their innovation funds. This has in turn generated over 100 billion yuan in support capital from the capital markets, financial sector and banks. We’ve also offered tax deduction policies for these companies. As a result, the export volume of high tech products ranked no.1 in the world."
As imbalanced, uncoordinated and unsustainable development still remains a challenge for China, Wan Gang says the need to shift the growth pattern, adjust economic structure and improve people’s wellbeing remains even more urgent.
He says it’s imperative for China to enhance its capacity of science and technology innovation by an even bigger margin. "Central government investment will be focused on basic research, and the projects that bring benefits to people’s livelihood, including public health, resources and environment, disaster prevention and reduction, and agricultural science."