It’s Official: China’s 13th Five Year Plan

Last Wednesday in Beijing, close to 3,000 delegates from China’s National People’s Congress rubber stamp approved the 13th Five Year Plan. The so-called “Shi San Wu” will run from 2016 to 2020 and outlines the general agenda for China’s economic, social, and political development. Its overall target is to build “a moderately prosperous society in all respects” via innovation, coordination, green development, opening up, and sharing.

Here are the key measures and opportunities for your business in China:

Economic Growth: China’s aim is to achieve a “medium to high” 6.5% GDP growth rate and to double its GDP and per capita income from 2010. Key growth drivers will be innovation and domestic consumption, especially by the country’s rapidly expanding middle class. Opportunity: Foreign know-how and products will be in demand.

Industrial Upgrading: To advance domestic manufacturing capabilities, the government will invest in initiatives such as ‘Made in China 2025’, which is modeled on Germany’s Industry 4.0. Opportunity: There are ample chances for innovative foreign manufacturing companies to cooperate with their local counterparts.

Foreign Investment: Almost 3 years after the establishment of the Pilot Free Trade Zone in Shanghai, the Chinese government will extend some of the policies, such as the negative list approach and more open investment environment, on a nation-wide scale. Opportunity: We expect a more even and transparent playing field for foreign companies wanting to invest in China.

Priority Industries: The plan identifies several strategically important industries for the nation’s development, such as services, IT and robotics; power, aerospace, railway, and maritime equipment; and agricultural machinery. Opportunity: Foreign companies that can provide products or expertise in these fields can move into the Chinese market.

Health Care: China is the world’s fastest growing emerging healthcare market due to the government’s efforts to improve the public healthcare system. Opportunity: Especially companies that specialise in mid-range medical technology and devices can move into the market.

Green Development: One of the guiding principles of the 13th 5YP, China is finally investing in improving and protecting its environment. Opportunity: China will focus on building up its expertise in areas such as recycling & filtration, green manufacturing, environmentally friendly vehicles, and low-carbon production.

Although these policies promise many opportunities for our clients and partners, the road ahead will not always be smooth. Please email us if you wish to discuss how this will impact your business in Greater China at