New fo­cus aims to en­er­gize ex­ports

In­fra­struc­ture in­clud­ing rail, nu­clear power to spear­head lat­est drive into over­seas mar­kets

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHAO YINYAN zhaoyinyan@chi­

China will lift slug­gish ex­ports by pro­mot­ing rail, nu­clear power and sur­plus prod­ucts in over­seas mar­kets af­ter trade growth fell short of its tar­get last year.

The ex­plo­ration of over­seas mar­kets for rail­ways, nu­clear power and other sec­tors in­volv­ing the use of large-scale equip­ment will be up­graded through joint-ven­tures and public-pri­vate part­ner­ships, top mem­bers of the State Coun­cil de­cided on Wed­nes­day. Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang presided over the ex­ec­u­tive meet­ing.

Industrial re­sources in those sec­tors should be in­te­grated, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment re­leased af­ter the meet­ing. The de­ci­sion was in line with the on­go­ing merger of the coun­try’s top two train mak­ers, hint­ing that a sim­i­lar over­haul in re­lated in­dus­tries could be pos­si­ble.

In­dus­tries with over­ca­pac­ity, in­clud­ing steel, non­fer­rous smelt­ing, build­ing ma­te­ri­als and tex­tiles, are also in­cluded in China’s lat­est plan to reach out to over­seas mar­kets, the state­ment said.

The state­ment said the plan will be­come an­other en­gine to drive the coun­try’s ex­ports and help with needed up­grad­ing of do­mes­tic in­dus­tries.

China has re­lied heav­ily on the ex­port of large-scale equip­ment, such as rail­ways and nu­clear power fa­cil­i­ties, to boost trade af­ter miss­ing its growth tar­get for the third con­sec­u­tive year.

The coun­try’s for­eign trade rose by 3.4 per­cent last year, far be­hind its tar­get of 7 per­cent. Ex­ports grew by 4.9 per­cent last year to 14.4 tril­lion yuan ($2.32 tril­lion), and the sur­plus widened to 2.35 tril­lion yuan.

In its lat­est move, China CNR Corp, a lead­ing man­u­fac­turer of lo­co­mo­tives in China, an­nounced an ex­port con­tract for sub­way trains with the United States on Jan 27. It was the first foray into the US rail tran­sit mar­ket, Xin­hua News Agency re­ported.

The man­u­fac­turer will sell 284 sub­way trains worth 4.12 bil­lion yuan to equip Red and Or­ange sub­way lines in Bos­ton, the an­nounce­ment said.

Wang Meng­shu, an aca­demic at the Chi­nese Academy of En­gi­neer­ing who spe­cial­izes in rail and in­fra­struc­ture projects, said China boasts the long­est rail lines in the world — proof of its tech­no­log­i­cal suc­cess — and Chi­nese rail com­pa­nies’ prices are more com­pet­i­tive than Ja­panese and Ger­man com­pa­nies.

“Rail­way ex­ports in­vig­o­rate the whole industrial chain, in­clud­ing the man­u­fac­tur­ing of lo­co­mo­tives, parts and sig­nals,” he said.

Chi­nese com­pa­nies are more com­pet­i­tive since they are able to of­fer a whole pack­age of ser­vices, in­clud­ing in­fra­struc­ture con­struc­tion, lo­co­mo­tive man­u­fac­tur­ing, main­te­nance and pro­fes­sional train­ing, Wang said.

Wed­nes­day’s ex­ec­u­tive meet­ing also brought a de­ci­sion to build more busi­ness in­cu­ba­tors to pro­vide lo­gis­tics, legal and ac­count­ing ser­vices for startup com­pa­nies.

It asked lo­cal gov­ern­ments to stream­line the ad­min­is­tra­tive pro­ce­dures for small and mi­cro com­pa­nies, and to pro­vide of­fices at low cost or sub­si­dize their rent, In­ter­net and other fixed ex­penses.

The meet­ing pledged to use gov­ern­ment-backed funds and tax ex­emp­tions to sup­port early-stage sci­en­tific and tech­no­log­i­cal com­pa­nies, which of­ten face dif­fi­cul­ties in bor­row­ing cap­i­tal be­cause of their lack of tan­gi­ble as­sets.

An­gel in­vestors, crowd fund­ing, a re­gional stock ex­change mar­ket and in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty mort­gages will also be en­cour­aged to sup­port startup busi­nesses.

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