Consumer goods’ quality to improve
Premier says branding, R&D and marketing also will get big boost
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.