Con­sumer goods’ qual­ity to im­prove

Premier says brand­ing, R&D and mar­ket­ing also will get big boost

China Daily (USA) - - TOP NEWS - By ZHANG YUE zhangyue@chi­

China plans to raise the qual­ity and stan­dards for con­sumer goods through more mar­ket-ori­ented ef­forts and by adopt­ing a wider range of global stan­dards over the next five years, as part of the coun­try’s struc­tural re­form and to boost con­sumer con­fi­dence.

A new guideline on im­prov­ing con­sumer goods stan­dards from this year through 2020, ini­ti­ated by the Gen­eral Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Qual­ity Su­per­vi­sion, In­spec­tion and Quar­an­tine, was ap­proved on Wed­nes­day at a State Coun­cil ex­ec­u­tive meet­ing presided over by Premier LiKe­qiang.

The guideline is in line with the coun­try’s on­go­ing eco­nomic tran­si­tion from an in­vest­ment-driven econ­omy to one driven more by con­sump­tion. In the first half of the year, fi­nal con­sump­tion ex­pen­di­ture con­trib­uted 73.4 per­cent to China’s GDP growth, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Bureau of Sta­tis­tics.

“Gov­ern­ment de­part­ments should bet­ter en­hance co­or­di­na­tion, while enterprises need to have a stronger em­pha­sis on qual­ity, brand­ing, R&D and mar­ket­ing. They also need to fully se­tu­paware­ness of brand­ing,” Li said. “It is im­por­tant that the qual­ity of con­sumer goods made in China can with­stand the test of the mar­ket.”

Fur­ther steps will be taken to up­grade con­sumer goods stan­dards, im­prove qual­ity and en­ter­prise com­pe­tence and de­velop more do­mes­tic brands with global ap­peal.

“With bet­ter prod­ucts, our man­u­fac­tur­ers can draw the cus­tomers who make pur­chases abroad back to ourown­mar­ket, which will boost do­mes­tic con­sump­tion,” said Huang Qun­hui, di­rec­tor of the In­sti­tute of In­dus­trial Eco­nomics at the Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sci­ences.

Ac­cord­ing to the newguide­line, by 2020, more than 95 per­cent of con­sumer goods in ma­jor sec­tors will meet in­ter­na­tional stan­dards.

From Jan­uary through July, China’s to­tal re­tail sales of con­sumer goods reached 18.3 tril­lion yuan ($2.75 tril­lion), a 10.3 per­cent in­crease year-on-year, ac­cord­ing to the NBS.

Dur­ing the meet­ing, Li high­lighted the im­por­tance of prod­uct safety. “Prod­uct safety comes first and fore­most for im­prov­ing con­sumer goods qual­ity and stan­dards,” Li said. “We should not leave prod­uct safety as a mat­ter of con­cern for con­sumers. The gov­ern­ment should also in­no­vate our su­per­vi­sory meth­ods .”

Ma­jor ef­forts in the next five years will also in­clude op­ti­miz­ing the mar­ket en­vi­ron­ment, and the gov­ern­ment will give more fi­nan­cial and reg­u­la­tory sup­port.

Ef­forts in brand­ing will be en­hanced by stronger pro­tec­tion and reg­u­la­tion of in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty rights, es­pe­cially for patents and trade­marks. Coun­ter­feit goods will also be tar­gets for lawen­force­ment.

The premier said that the up­grad­ing of con­sumer goods will go along with the de­vel­op­ment of the equip­ment man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try.

“By im­prov­ing the con­sumer goods sec­tor, we will force the up­grad­ing of equip­ment man­u­fac­tur­ing,” Li said. “The man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try is the cor­ner­stone of the coun­try’s en­tire in­dus­try.”

The premier said more ef­forts are needed by com­pa­nies to train work­ers with tai­lored skills through co­op­er­a­tion with vo­ca­tional ed­u­ca­tion in­sti­tu­tions. “We need to train more highly skilled work­ers and fos­ter a cul­ture of crafts­man­ship,” he said.

Chi­nese con­sump­tion overseas reached 1.5 tril­lion yuan last year, of which about half was spent on shop­ping, ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of Com­merce. Hu Yongqi con­trib­uted to this story.

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