On July 24, 2019, CCIEE held the 120th “Monthly Economic Talk” with the theme of “How to Promote High-Quality Development of Infrastructure?”. Zhang Xiaoqiang, Executive Vice Chairman of CCIEE, presided over the meeting. Gao Juncai, former Director of the Department of Agriculture and Economics of the National Development and Reform Commission(NDRC), Zhang Yue, Inspector of the Urban Construction Department of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, Han Wenke, former Director of the Energy Research Institute of the Macroeconomic Research Institute, Wang Ming, Director of the Institute of General Transportation of the Macroeconomic Research Institute, He Xia, Vice President of the Institute of Policy and Economic Research, China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, and Zhang Yongjun, Deputy Chief Economist of CCIEE, delivered their speeches respectively.
The experts attending the meeting pointed out that infrastructure is the cornerstone of national economic development and a guarantee for promoting the high-quality development of China’s economy. Since China started its reform and opening up 40 years ago, it has made tremendous achievements in infrastructure such as transportation, energy, environmental protection, water conservancy, information and communication, which has become the basic experience of promoting China’s high-speed and high-quality economic development. At present, the socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era, and the main contradictions in our society have been transformed into contradictions between the people’s growing need for a better life and inadequate and imbalanced development. In the future, China’s infrastructure development should shift from the stage of scale expansion to the stage of quality improvement. China needs to build an infrastructure system which is more efficient, safer, more reliable, greener, more intelligent and comfortable to better meet the need of the people and social and economic development, and truly achieve high-quality development of the national economy.
Apart from that, the experts pointed out that China’s infrastructure development still faces many problems, such as the lagging policy and institutional system, an imperfect management system and layout, the difficulty in balancing social benefits and financial returns, and inadequate innovation. The security, reliability and coordinated development of the infrastructure still need to be improved. Currently, China’s infrastructure construction cannot meet the requirements of its high-quality economic development, nor can it fully meet the requirement of building a socialist modernized country. In other words, there is still room for improvement.
All the experts believe that the high-quality development of infrastructure should focus on certain key areas and weak links. For instance, the construction of transportation infrastructure should be accurately arranged according to the national strategic adjustment and needs, and improve the quality of development. In terms of energy infrastructure construction, transformation is needed to build a green, low-carbon energy infrastructure system. In the urban underground pipe network, it is necessary to strengthen the quality of the pipe network and improve the efficiency of sewage treatment. In the field of communication information, it is important to strengthen the digital interoperability of new infrastructure, industrial integration, regulatory coordination, and the protection of platform data and personal information. In addition, we should have a diversified investment system for the high-quality development of various types of infrastructure, and improve the market-oriented operations.
In the Q&A section, experts answered various questions from the media and the audience. Researchers from CCIEE, representatives from enterprises, research institutions and news agencies took part in the event.