China adopted its 13th Five-Year Plan on 15 March 2016. The Plan outlines China’s goals, principles and targets for its development through to 2020.

This is the first Five-Year Plan to be developed under President Xi Jinping’s leadership and the first since China’s economy entered the “new normal” pace of economic growth.

Against this backdrop, the Plan sets an annual GDP growth target of 6.5% over the next 5 years, reflecting the Chinese Communist Party’s long-term goal of doubling the country’s GDP and household income in the decade from 2010 to 2020. It also reflects a move towards domestic consumption, innovation and entrepreneurship in seeking to achieve a more balanced and sustainable economic development.

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Innovation is not a new theme in China’s 5 year plans, but it has taken on greater significance in this one. “Innovation-driven development” is repeatedly referred to as a new driver for China’s economic growth.

The size and increasing global influence of China’s economy means the Plan has significant implications for businesses in China, and around the world.

In this series, we provide an in-depth analysis of key sectors targeted by the Plan:

  • Health and Aged Care – China’s middle class is growing rapidly and is seeking better quality health and aged care services. Recognising that the Chinese Government alone cannot meet the increasing health and aged care demands of its citizens, the Plan promotes the idea of a “Healthy China”, encouraging the participation of the private sector in the establishment of an integrated health and aged care system.
  • Financial Services – the Plan recognises that there is still room for further development and improvement of China’s financial services sector. The Plan details measures to address the dual aims of financial reform and maintaining financial stability.
  • Agriculture – the Plan for agriculture builds on the previous theme of modernising the Chinese agriculture sector. It reiterates the intention to restructure China’s agriculture sector and introduce improved technology innovation and effective agricultural socialisation service systems.
  • Infrastructure – in line with China’s ambitious One Belt, One Road strategy, urbanisation and infrastructure investment remain high priorities with plans to coordinate regional development and road, rail and port infrastructure to tie the country together. The Plan also highlights a strong focus on innovative infrastructure and green development.
  • Environment – the Plan emphasises a cleaner and greener economy, with a strong commitment to environmental management and protection, clean energy and emissions controls, ecological protection and security and the development of green industries.
  • Innovation, Internet Plus, new media and information technology – the Government has recognised the importance of China developing new industries based on the Internet and e-commerce. The Plan encourages the integration of the internet with traditional sectors of the economy and promotes Internet-based innovations.

We also analyse the impact of China's 13th Five Year Plan on tax system reforms.

The Plan has much to offer to businesses in China and internationally.