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The Chinese government has unveiled plans to develop the country’s sports industry and increase the sector’s annual output to 5tn yuan (US$813bn) by the year 2025, according to state news agency Xinhua.
The State Council, China’s Cabinet, said in a policy document that promoting fitness will become one of the government’s national strategies under the plans, which aim to make the sports sector a major force of sustainable social and economic development.
Liu Peng, head of the sports administration, said the plans will help Chinese people to pursue a higher life quality. “The notion of investment in health is taking firmer root among the people and physical fitness is gaining more attention,” Liu said.
The plans include goals for an area of sports grounds reaching two square metres per capita by 2025 and increasing the amount of people that exercise regularly to 500 million. Data from the General Administration of Sports suggests that China’s average area of sport facilities stood at just 1.2 square metres per person by the end of 2010, which places the country some way behind neighbouring nations such as Japan.
The policy document has set out plans to support the emerging sector by eliminating industrial and policy barriers in order to form a policy that is conducive to the sector’s growth. The government plans to scrap regulations that hinder the sector’s development, drop unreasonable administrative approval procedures and open all fields allowed by existing laws and regulations to the public.
In addition, China will encourage social capital to invest in the industry, which will include the construction of sports facilities and providing any related products and services. The country also plans to expand the opening up of the sector in order to encourage foreign capital to invest in the national sports industry.