|China mulls $1.5t boost for strategic industries |
Updated: 2010-12-03 10:56
BEIJING - China is considering investments of up to $1.5 trillion over five years in seven strategic industries, sources said, a plan aimed at accelerating the country's transition from the world's supplier of cheap goods to a leading purveyor of high-value technologies.
Analysts expressed scepticism at the sheer amount of money - it equates to about 5 percent of China's gross domestic product on an annual basis - but said that the eye-popping headline figure was an indication of the government's determination to catalyse a structural shift in the economy.
The targeted sectors include alternative energy, biotechnology, new-generation information technology, high-end equipment manufacturing, advanced materials, alternative-fuel cars and energy-saving and environmentally friendly technologies.
The central government itself would most likely not deliver the bulk of the money, but would seek to spur spending by corporations, investment by local governments and lending by banks.
The Central Economic Work Conference, the key annual meeting at which top leaders chart out economic policies for next year, is likely to endorse the plan for the seven new strategic industries when it convenes later this month.
"The State Council is considering a plan to invest up to 2 trillion yuan ($300 billion) each year in the seven new strategic industries over the next five years," a source with ties to the leadership and direct knowledge of the proposal told Reuters.
China-Japan-ROK free trade talks 'set for 2012'
By Ding Qingfen (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-12-02 07:03
WEIHAI, Shandong - Free trade agreement (FTA) talks among China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) could start in 2012 as the countries try to reduce reliance on the United States and the European Union, Yi Xiaozhun, vice-minister of commerce, told China Daily.
S economic woes and the European debt crisis are boosting integration efforts and adding momentum to negotiations for an FTA among the three countries.
"I expect the negotiations to start in 2012, when a joint study by the three nations will be concluded," Yi said on the sidelines of a meeting of the FTA Joint Study Committee in Weihai, a coastal city in Shandong province.
China and the ROK are expected to start FTA talks next year, according to earlier media reports.
Yi Xiaozhun, vice-minister of commerce, says an FTA among China, Japan and the ROK will benefi t all.
"The FTAs ... among the three nations will contribute to the integration of East Asian economies," Yi said.
The three countries make up about 22 percent of the global population, and their combined economies account for 19 percent of the world total and their foreign reserves 47 percent.