China maps five-year plan for building modern distribution system

China's top economic planner on Monday unveiled plans for a modern distribution system over the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025).

By 2025, China expects distribution costs to decrease and for the modern distribution system to become more efficient, meaning the sector will play a significantly larger role in the economy, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

The plan will facilitate improvements to the flow of goods and resource factors; commercial and logistics facilities; domestic and international distribution networks and service systems; transportation capacity; financial support; emergency response; and green development.

The modern distribution system is projected to be completed by 2035, placing China among the leaders in terms of distribution efficiency and quality, and providing efficient support for the development of a modern economic system.

The plan outlines key tasks in six areas, including deepening market reform for modern distribution, perfecting the modern commercial distribution system, and accelerating the development of a modern logistics system.

China will also strengthen support for transportation, financial services, and credit services within the distribution system ecosystem, according to the document.

As the first five-year plan on modern distribution, the document has broken new ground in the country's efforts to facilitate economic circulation, Zhang Guohua, an official with the NDRC, told a press conference.

The plan aims to shore up weak links in the modern distribution system and meet the strategic demand for fostering a new development pattern, said Zhang, citing existing weaknesses such as hidden barriers hampering the free flows of goods and factors and inadequate infrastructure in transportation and logistics.

In the 2021-2025 period, particular attention will be paid to developing an orderly and efficient market, optimizing spatial arrangements of distribution development, fostering competitive and innovative modern distribution enterprises and speeding up innovative and green development, according to Zhang.

The NDRC will also work with other government departments to develop national "strategic pivot cities" and build several "backbone corridors" for distribution to support the construction of a modern distribution network, said the official.  

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