Investment will continue to play a key role in energizing the Chinese economy this year, with input into manufacturing and high-tech industries playing the lead role, experts said.
China's fixed asset investment grew steadily by 2.9 percent on a yearly basis in 2020 with high-tech and the social sector leading the growth, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Monday. The country's total fixed asset investment amounted to 51.89 trillion yuan ($7.99 trillion) in 2020. Investment grew by 0.9 percent in the basic infrastructure sector, but declined by 2.2 percent in the manufacturing sector, the NBS said on Monday.
Investment growth in the agricultural, secondary and services sectors all turned positive last year. In particular, investment in high-tech industries grew by 10.6 percent on a yearly basis, 7.7 percentage points above the overall level. Private-sector investment stood at 28.93 trillion yuan, up by 1 percent on a yearly basis.
Experts believe that manufacturing sector investment will play a significant role in boosting fixed asset investment this year.
"While keeping the intensity of investment in infrastructure and the real estate sector basically stable and appropriate, investment in the manufacturing sector will take the lead in boosting overall investment," said Xiao Lisheng, a senior researcher of international finance at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, on Monday after the NBS data announcement.
He said that a robust export momentum, which is likely to continue in the months to come, will further catalyze the growth of the domestic manufacturing sector. Furthermore, with the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines in European countries and the United States, major global economies are likely to see a quick recovery, further boosting overseas demand.
This will, in turn, boost China's domestic manufacturing sector.
Xiao said businesses at home are likely to expand their investments due to the mild surge in inflation. This will help bring down the real borrowing costs for businesses and increase their investments.
Ning Jizhe, head of the NBS, said on Monday that investment policies for this year will be focused on shoring up the weak links.
Investments in the high-tech sector have played a significant role in keeping investments stable in 2020, said Long Shaobo, deputy director at the Center for Public Economy and Public Policy at Chongqing University.
High-tech sector has given the overall investments a fillip and helped optimize the quality of funding, Long said.