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China pursues new quality productive forces through innovation

China’s green and digital innovation is injecting great momentum into its efforts to develop new quality productive forces and promote high-quality development.

The remarks were made by government officials, entrepreneurs and scholars at a sideline forum during the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference 2024, underway in Boao in south China’s Hainan Province from March 26 to 29.

New quality productive forces refer to advanced productivity freed from traditional economic growth modes and productivity development paths. It features high technology, high efficiency and high quality, and is in line with the new development philosophy.

As a major cooperation partner of BFA, China Energy Engineering Corporation Limited, a Global Fortune 500 company, has been participating in the annual conference for years, sharing innovation outcomes as well as green and low-carbon development solutions with global participants.

Noting that the goal of new quality productive forces is aligned with the company’s growth strategy, Song Hailiang, chairman of the company, said at the sub-forum that innovation is the core driving force of new quality productive forces and an engine for China’s high-quality development.

The company has been actively pursuing innovation to develop new quality productive forces and foster new strategic industries, Song added. In 2023 alone, the company invested nearly 13 billion yuan (about 1.83 billion U.S. dollars) in research and development in power supply, power grid, new energy, energy storage, hydrogen energy, seawater desalination, and other fields.

Similar views were shared by Liu Yong, chairman and founder of DAS Solar, a Chinese high-tech enterprise that exemplifies innovation in the photovoltaic industry. According to him, the outstanding element of new quality productive forces should be innovation, as it is only through innovation that enterprises can attain core competitiveness.

“We are also pursuing innovation in the production and operation model,” said Liu, noting that the company has built a fully intelligent and digital factory, realizing the whole-process smart production.

In addition to the energy sector, China’s transportation industry has also actively pursued innovation during its development journey over the years.

“China’s transportation industry has made substantial headway since the reform and opening up. We have built the world’s largest high-speed railway and expressway networks, as well as a world-class port cluster,” said Li Yang, China’s vice minister of transport. “The development of such huge transportation facilities is inseparable from technological innovation.”

In recent years, China has also made vigorous efforts in green transition, injecting fresh impetus into its high-quality development while steadfastly pursuing its dual carbon goals of peaking carbon emissions by 2030 and reaching carbon neutrality by 2060.

China’s dual carbon goals have put forward new challenges to the science and technology innovation in the energy sector, Gao Xiang, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said at the forum.

Gao added that under the vision of carbon neutrality in the future, the energy structure will undergo tremendous changes and new technologies will play a significant role in promoting energy and industry transition and achieving high-quality development.

China is also sharing its high-quality development experience with other countries.
“China has done considerable work in energy and transportation innovation. China pursues green, innovative and high-quality development while achieving rapid economic growth,” said Zafar Uddin Mahmood, policy advisor to the Secretary General of BFA.

For years, Pakistan has been engaged in cooperation with China under the Belt and Road Initiative, with Chinese companies helping a lot in the development of Pakistan’s energy and transportation sectors, Mahmood noted.

To share the fruits of China’s high-quality development, Chinese companies have offered extensive expertise in industry development, technological cooperation and energy sharing to global partners, Song said.

Last year, China Energy Engineering secured new overseas contracts worth over 280 billion yuan. In the past five years, contracts worth more than 500 billion yuan have been signed with Belt and Road partner countries and regions.

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