Over the past 40 years of reform and opening-up, East China's Anhui province has made steady progress in developing its local economy and improving the livelihoods of its residents, according to the government work report released by Li Guoying, the provincial governor, on Jan 14 during the second session of the 13th Anhui Provincial People's Congress.
In 2018, the province's GDP was 3 trillion yuan ($436 billion), an increase of 8.02 percent year-on-year. Among this, the added value of the primary industry sector was 263.8 billion yuan, increasing by 3.2 percent year-on-year, the added value of the secondary industry sector was 1.38 trillion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 8.5 percent, while the tertiary sector climbed to 1.35 trillion yuan, up 8.6 percent year-on-year. The contribution rate of primary, secondary and tertiary industries to the province's GDP was 8.8 percent, 46.1 percent and 45.1 percent. The province's per capita GDP was 47,712 yuan, an increase of 4,311 yuan over the previous year.
The province's fiscal revenue rose 10.4 percent year-on-year to 536.3 billion yuan in 2018. The added value of industries above a designated scale increased by 9.2 percent, while the profits of enterprises recorded growth of 15 percent.
Anhui has made great efforts to implement the rural revitalization strategy and promote regional coordinated development, with the aim of boosting the development of agricultural and rural modernization. The agriculture sector continued to expand, as total grain output in 2018 reached 40 billion kilograms, reaping a bumper harvest for a 15th consecutive year. The output value of the agricultural processing sector witnessed an increase of 7.6 percent.
In 2018, 18 impoverished counties along with 726,000 people were lifted out of poverty, with the incidence of poverty dropping to 0.93 percent, 1.29 percentage points lower than in 2017, and 167,500 dangerous rural houses were transformed.
In the past year, Anhui has deeply integrated its own development into the overall development strategy of the country, such as the Yangtze River Economic Belt, and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Hefei, Wuhu and Xuancheng were involved into the G60 Science and Technology Innovation Valley in the Yangtze River Delta, which is poised to become a growth engine for the delta's technical and economic development.
Anhui has made great breakthroughs in scientific and technological innovation, and paid much attention to cultivating new drivers of high-quality development. Research and development expenditure accounted for 2.1 percent of the province's GDP in 2018, and 13 projects won prizes at the National Science and Technology Awards. The provincial Hefei Binhu Science City was established, which will be a new highland for Anhui's high-quality development. The province's four industrial clusters: high-end strategic emerging industries, advanced manufacturing industries, modern services, and modern agriculture will be settled in the science city.
Five key national scientific engineering projects and 26 national key (engineering) laboratories are also based in Anhui. At the same time, the province has set up 23 provincial high-tech business incubators, and 47 maker spaces. Wuhu and Maanshan were listed as National Innovative Pilot Cities, and Huainan High-Tech Industrial Development Zone was elevated to the national level by the State Council in February 2018, making it the sixth national-level high-tech zone in Anhui.
With the aim of high-end, green and integrated development, Anhui called for efforts to promote industrial transformation and upgrading. By the end of 2018, the value-added of the province's high-tech industries had grown by 13.9 percent year-on-year. The output value of strategic emerging industries increased by 16.3 percent, accounting for 29.4 percent of the total output value of industries above the designated scale in Anhui.
The province also made significant achievements in tackling pollution, and improving ecological and environmental quality. The average concentration of PM 2.5 in the province dropped by 12.5 percent in 2018, and the rate of days recorded with excellent or good air quality was 71 percent, 4.3 percentage points higher than that of 2017.
Anhui has taken steps to promote all-round opening-up and build an open economy at a higher level. In 2018, the total volume of foreign trade exceeded $60 billion for the first time, up 16.6 percent year-on-year, and exports and imports increased by 18.3 percent and 14.3 percent.
The province had actively participated in the BRI, and trade and investment in countries involved in the BRI saw increases of over 9 percent and 1 percent. Anhui's actual utilization of foreign capital totaled $17 billion in 2018, growing by 7 percent year-on-year. It hosted the World Manufacturing Convention 2018 in Hefei, bringing in 447 billion yuan of investment.