Over the past 40 years of reform and opening-up, Hunan has made steady progress in developing its local economy and improving the livelihoods of its residents, according to the government work report released by Xu Dazhe, governor of the province, at the second session of the 13th Hunan Provincial People's Congress in Changsha Jan 26.
In 2018, the province's GDP was 3.64 trillion yuan ($530 billion), an increase of 7.8 percent year-on-year. The added value of the primary industry sector was 308.36 billion yuan, increasing by 3.5 percent year-on-year; the added value of the secondary industry sector was 1.45 trillion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 7.2 percent; and tertiary industry climbed to 1.89 trillion yuan, up 9.2 percent year-on-year. The contribution rate of primary, secondary and tertiary industries to economic growth was 4 percent, 40.9 percent and 55.1 percent. The province's per capita GDP was 52,949 yuan, an increase of 7.2 percent year-on-year.
The added value of the province's agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry and fishery industries was 326.59 billion yuan, up 3.7 percent year-on-year. Hunan is striving to build a modern rural industrial system to promote the development of leisure agriculture and rural tourism, as well as the deep processing of agricultural products. The province will also cultivate and develop characteristic industries, and it is expected that by 2020, the production value of tea, fruit and aquatic products will exceed 80 billion yuan, while that of the traditional Chinese medicine industry will surpass 50 billion yuan.
The total industrial added value for 2018 was 1.19 trillion yuan, growing by 7.4 percent year-on-year, the same as the added value of industries above designated scale. The province released policies to give strong support to entity economy and private enterprises. The materials, equipment manufacturing, and agro-product processing industries grew to 1 trillion yuan, and the number of 100-billion-yuan industries amounted to 11. Hunan pushed forward construction of a modern manufacturing base, and the added value of high-processing industries and hi-tech manufacturing increased by 10.1 percent and 18.3 percent. "Created in Hunan" has become a significant symbol of the province’s high-quality development.
A complete industrial system has taken shape in Hunan, with 10 competitive industrial clusters, including engineering machinery, electronic information and new materials, petrochemical engineering, and automobile and spare parts. Several nationally renowned enterprises are settled there, such as Sany Group, China's leading machinery equipment maker, and Zoomlion, China's top construction machinery manufacturer.
The industrial structure of the province has been optimized further thanks to supply-side structural reform, with the shares of the three industrial structures adjusted to 8.5: 39.7: 51.8. Hunan cut coal production capacity by six million tons, and closed 3,747 polluting enterprises in 2018.
The tertiary sector registered rapid growth in 2018, with added value of 1.89 trillion yuan, accounting for 51.8 percent of the province's total GDP, 2.3 percentage points higher than that of 2017. The growth rate of the emerging service industries such as network retail trade and software information exceeded 20 percent. The primary, secondary, and tertiary industries in rural areas have maintained integrated development, bringing in a 15.1 percent increase year-on-year in agricultural leisure revenue.
Breakthroughs in innovative development were made in the province in 2018, with the number of high-tech enterprises climbing to 4,500, and the added value of high-tech industries increasing by 14 percent year-on-year. The province won 27 national science and technology awards, and the patent application quantity saw an increase of 23.9 percent. The construction of the science and technology innovation base centering on the Changsha-Zhuzhou-Xiangtan National Independent Innovation Demonstration Area was in full swing, Zhuzhou and Hengyang were listed as national pilot cities for innovation, and Huaihua High-tech Zone received approval from the State Council as the eighth national-level zone of its kind in Hunan in February 2018, all of which have injected strong impetus into the province's innovative development.
Hunan has announced a series of new measures to deepen reform, and further opening-up, technological innovation, industrial upgrading and modern urbanization. The province has actively integrated into the Yangtze River Delta and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and introduced 59 preferential policies to attract Taiwan enterprises. The China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo, which was held in Changsha, the capital city of Hunan, from June 27 to 29, showcased achievements and opportunities in China-Africa economic and trade collaborations. In 2018, Hunan's imports and exports grew by 26.5 percent, and the actual use of foreign capital rose 11.9 percent.
Hunan also devoted efforts to accelerating coordinated regional development, and promoting the coordinated development of the Changsha-Zhuzhou-Xiangtan City Cluster, the Dongting Lake Area, and the southern and western parts of Hunan province. A new urban system has been formed, and the urbanization rate increased by 1.4 percentage points over that of 2017, with 300 villages ranked among the beautiful model villages.
In 2018, the province lifted nearly 1.31 million rural residents out of poverty and removed 2,491 villages from the impoverished areas list. The rate of poverty in Hunan among the general population has also fallen sharply, from 3.86 percent to 1.49 percent.
At the same time, Hunan has launched a three-year action plan (2018-20) for pollution prevention and control, in order to safeguard blue sky, Dongting Lake and Xiangjiang River. In 2018, the number of days with good air quality in Hunan reached 85.4 percent, up 3.7 percentage points from 2017, and the air quality in Zhangjiajie, Chenzhou, Yiyang, Jishou and Loudi met the second national level for the first time.