Open Governance
Sichuan Sees Growing GDP and Comprehensive Strength

On May 8, Sichuan Provincial Bureau of Statistics released an analysis report on the overall development trend of the province's economy in the past five years.


Sichuan's GDP continues to expand, according to the report. In 2018, its GDP amounted to 4,290.21 billion yuan. In 2021, the figure reached 5,385.08 billion yuan, making Sichuan become the first province with a GDP of more than 5 trillion yuan in western China and the sixth in China following Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shandong, Zhejiang and Henan. The average annual increase in GDP is about 410 billion yuan, equivalent to the GDP of Sichuan in 2001. The proportion of its GDP in China’s total rose from 4.4% in 2016 to 4.7% in 2021, up 0.3 percentage points, and that of its GDP in western China’s total increased from 21.9% in 2016 to 22.5% in 2021, up 0.6 percentage points. 


The GDP of Sichuan has achieved steady growth in 2017, 2018 and in 2019, by 8.1%, 8.0% and 7.4% respectively over the previous year. Under the new normal, the economy has featured high-quality development instead of high-speed growth, with increasingly strengthened stability and resilience. Although affected by the pandemic, Sichuan's economy assumed the lead in recovery in China in 2020, achieving a growth of 3.8%. From 2016 to 2021, Sichuan's GDP grew at an average annual growth rate of 7.1%, 1.1 percentage points higher than that of the country. The added value of the manufacturing industry grew at an average annual rate of 7.4%, 0.3 percentage points higher than that of the GDP. The modern service industry has developed rapidly. The added value of information transmission, software and information technology services increased at an average annual rate of 23.2%, and that of leasing and business services at 14.8%. 


With the implementation of policies and measures for strengthening industry and the development of low-carbon advantageous industries, the province's industrial economy has maintained sound growth, and the share of manufacturing in the industrial sector remained above 80%. The performance of the digital economy is eye-catching, and the proportion of the core industries' added value in GDP increased from 4.8% in 2018 to 7.5% in 2021, up 2.7 percentage points. The industrial structure of Sichuan was adjusted from 11.8/40.6/47.6 in 2016 to 10.5/37.0/52.5 in 2021, and the proportion of non-agricultural industries increased from 88.2% in 2016 to 89.5% in 2021. Meanwhile, Sichuan, with priority given to supply-side structural reform for high-quality development, has actively guided and promoted the strategic adjustment of the economic structure. In addition to the industrial sector, the service sector has become another new engine for economic growth. The added value of Sichuan's service sector exceeded the 2-trillion-yuan mark in 2018. The figure reached 2,828.76 billion yuan in 2021, with an average annual growth rate of 8.0%, which is 1.3 percentage points higher than the national average. In 2016, the added value of the service sector accounted for 47.6% of the GDP. The proportion surpassed 50% for the first time in 2017, and reached 52.5% in 2021.

Strategic Planning

The regional economy has shown a trend of efficient synergy and linkage, an enhanced driving force of regional central cities, and formation of growth poles at a quickening pace. In 2021, the GDP of Chengdu was nearly 2 trillion yuan, making the city rank third among the 15 sub-provincial cities in China. The GDP of the two cities of Mianyang and Yibin exceeded 300 billion yuan, that of the five cities of Luzhou, Deyang, Leshan, Nanchong, and Dazhou exceeded 200 billion yuan each, and that of the eight cities (prefectures) of Zigong, Panzhihua, Guangyuan, Suining, Neijiang, Meishan, Guang'an and Liangshan exceeded 100 billion yuan each. In 2016, the GDP of Chengdu only exceeded 1 trillion yuan and that of 11 cities (prefectures) 100 billion yuan each. The coordinated development has achieved remarkable results. In 2021, the GDP of seven regional central cities such as Mianyang and Yibin increased by an average rate of 8.4%, 0.2 percentage points higher than that of the province. The building of Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle has seen fruitful results, and the integration of Chengdu, Deyang, Meishan and Ziyang has been accelerating. In 2021, the GDP of Chengdu Plain Economic Zone reached 3,292.778 billion yuan, with an increase of 8.5%; South Sichuan Economic Zone, Northeast Sichuan Economic Zone, West Panzhihua Economic Zone, and Northwest Sichuan Ecological Demonstration Zone have competed for development. In terms of a growth rate, South Sichuan Economic Zone has ranked first across the province for six consecutive years. Its growth rate remained about 0.5 percentage points higher than that of the province and its GDP accounted for 16.3% of that of the province in 2021. The economic vitality in counties has been continuously enhanced. The number of counties (cities and districts) with a GDP exceeding 10 billion yuan rose from 107 in 2016 to 125 in 2021, of which 15 new ones secured a GDP of over 50 billion yuan and 34 new ones that of over 20 billion yuan. 


Sichuan's per capita GDP has jumped over two marks in a row with a steady and rapid growth rate. In 2018, it exceeded 50,000 yuan. In 2021, the figure reached 64,326 yuan (nearly 10,000 U.S. dollars) accounted for 79.4% of the national average and was 4.5 percentage points higher than that in 2016, which shows that the development has benefited the people even more. The per capita GDP of Chengdu, Zigong, Panzhihua, Deyang, Mianyang, Leshan and Yibin exceeded 10,000 U.S. dollars, and that of Chengdu and Panzhihua exceeded the national average. The coefficient of variation of regional per capita GDP dropped from 0.32 in 2016 to 0.298 in 2021, which shows that the coordination of regional development has been further enhanced. The labor productivity of all employees in the province has increased steadily, and is estimated to increase from 71,158 yuan per person in 2016 to 112,960 yuan per person in 2021. The level of seven cities such as Chengdu and Zigong has exceeded that of the province on the whole. 


The market system reform in Sichuan continues to be deepened, and the business environment be improved. The private economy has entered the fast lane for sound development, and the total scale has expanded continuously. Sichuan's private economy grew at an average annual rate of 6.9% from 1,852.4 billion yuan in 2016 to 2,937.5 billion yuan in 2021, and contributed 54.5% to the GDP growth on an annual average. The private sector has become an important support for the steady and sound economic development of Sichuan. Market entities in private economy are growing vigorously, and market vitality continues to be released. By the end of 2021, the number of market entities in private economy in Sichuan reached 7.516 million, accounting for 97.4% of the total.

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