BEIJING, March 5 (Xinhua) -- China unveiled Saturday the draft outline of the 13th Five-Year Plan on national economy and social development, which sets the target of average annual economic growth of above 6.5 percent from 2016 to 2020.
The 6.5-percent annual growth rate over a five-year period is the lowest for over three decades. It is, however, believed that this is the minimum growth required for the nation to realize the goal of doubling the 2010 GDP and per capita income by 2020.
China's GDP is expected to exceed 92.7 trillion yuan (14.2 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2020, compared with 67.7 trillion yuan in 2015, according to the draft, submitted to the National People's Congress (NPC) annual session, which opened Saturday, for review.
The country will implement an innovation-driven development strategy and promote science and technology innovation, mass innovation and entrepreneurship, with supporting reforms and policies, it said.
China will stick to and improve the basic economic system, push forward reforms of state-owned enterprises and support the private sector.
Out-of-date rules targeting the private sector will be abolished and firms will be encouraged to enter more fields, according to the draft.
The country will also ease entry access to services, such as childcare and construction. Overseas institutions will be encouraged to invest more in advanced manufacturing, hi-tech, energy saving and environmental protection, it said.
The draft also outlined tasks and targets covering a variety of fields including agricultural modernization, manufacturing upgrades, pollution control, poverty reduction, energy conservation and opening up.
China sets the GDP growth target at between 6.5 and 7 percent this year, taking into consideration the need to advance structural reform and create jobs. The economy grew 6.9 percent in 2015, the slowest in a quarter of a century.
"A comprehensive analysis of all factors shows that China will face more and tougher problems and challenges in its development this year, so we must be fully prepared to fight a difficult battle," Premier Li Keqiang said in a government work report to national legislators.
"China has laid a solid material foundation, and its economy is hugely resilient and has enormous potential and ample room for growth," he said.
"The slowdown is inevitable, given the overall economic transformation, but the foundation for long-term growth is solid," said Fang Weifeng, an NPC deputy from Shaanxi Province.
Fang, a provincial economic planner, forecast that the economy will face harder difficulties this year as the next stage of structural adjustment begins.
Among the major targets for the next five years, urban residents will rise to 60 percent of the population from 56.1 percent in 2015. The added value of the service sector will account for 56 percent of GDP in 2020 from 50.5 percent in 2015, when the country for the first time exceeded the threshold of services accounting for more than half of GDP.
To boost innovation, research and development spending will occupy a 2.5-percent share of GDP in 2020, further closer to those of developed economies which are incubating most innovations in the globe.
By 2020, the number of invention patents for every 10,000 Chinese people will double to reach 12, while contribution of science and technology to economic growth will increase to 60 percent from 55 percent.
The country will have 30,000 km of high-speed railways, linking 80 percent of big cities nationwide.
As binding targets, by 2020, the water consumption per 10,000 yuan GDP will fall 23 percent, while the energy consumption per unit of GDP will be cut by 15 percent. Carbon dioxide emissions will also be cut by 18 percent.
The discharge of four major pollutants, including sulphur dioxide and chemical oxygen demand, will be cut by 10 or 15 percent.
The PM2.5 density of large cities that fail to meet national standards will drop 18 percent. The number of heavily polluted days in large cities will fall 25 percent.
China will create more than 50 million new urban jobs in the next five years. Efforts will be made to lift all poverty-stricken rural residents out of poverty.
The new five year plan comes as China's economy has entered what policymakers believed as the "new normal," a phase of moderating growth based more on consumption than the previous mainstay of exports and investment. It embodies new development concepts, led by innovation, for a balanced, coordinated and sustainable growth. Enditem