Date
23 September 2017
Operations At Yangshan Deep Water Port

The Big Picture: EXPORT UPGRADE

With the manufacturing sector and the broader economy facing severe challenges, as indicated by the recent weak data, China is seeking to improve the quality of its exports by focusing more on higher-value products and equipment. 

Signaling the government’s determination to reduce the nation’s reliance on low-cost export items, Premier Li Keqiang {李克強} said on Thursday that Beijing will encourage sales of high-speed train and nuclear power equipment overseas to diversify the overall export structure.

“China should upgrade its economy, as well as its export products,” Li said at a news conference in Beijing after the closing of the annual session of the National People’s Congress. “We should not always rely on sales of shoes, clothes and toys but should focus more on equipment.”

Li said he told some European leaders during a trip to the region last year that Chinese companies can provide them with high-quality and cost-effective equipment for high-speed railway and nuclear power plants. He said many international parts suppliers can benefit from increased sales of made-in-China equipment.

The premier admitted that he was involved in the negotiations to resolve the anti-dumping dispute with Europe last year over Chinese solar panels. He said it is not worth undermining the trade relationship between China and Europe over a relatively minor segment. That is why China took a softer stance to avoid conflict, he said.

The European Commission (EC) announced in June last year that it would impose provisional anti-dumping duties on imports of Chinese solar panels, cells and wafers. The tariff would be set at 11.8 percent for two months and then rise to 47.6 percent, a level that will cancel out the impact of the dumping on Europe’s solar industry.

Following a meeting between Li and Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, in Berlin in May 2013, the leaders said they oppose trade protectionism and that they are willing to resolve trade frictions through dialogue and negotiations. Merkel also said Germany firmly opposes the EC’s trade probe into imports of Chinese mobile telecommunications products.

Observers say Beijing is taking the right path to boost exports of Chinese equipment with stepped-up diplomatic efforts, using its leverage as a major buyer of US and European government debt.

However, trade protectionism in global markets still remains and may intensify if Chinese equipment markers start gaining bigger global market share, they say. More trade conflicts could arise in the coming years between China and Western nations.

New guidelines seen to promote cultural industry

China is set to unveil some guidelines to promote the development of the cultural industry, Shanghai Securities News reported Friday, citing an authoritative source. The guidelines will aim to foster joint development of the industry, design services and related businesses; cooperation between the industry and financial institutions; and support for small cultural firms, the report said. The government’s special fund for the cultural industry will have the financial support plan as key agenda this year, offering interest subsidy for cultural firms that have been repaying their loans and interest on time, a source from the China Cultural Industry Association was quoted as saying. 

NDRC approves 142.4 bln yuan rail projects

The National Development and Reform Commission approved in January and February five railway projects worth a combined 142.4 billion yuan (US$23.21 billion), the China Securities Journal reported Friday, citing the state planner. The five projects link Hongliuhe and Naomao Lake, Harbin and Mudanjiang, Harbin and Jiamusi, Qingdao and Lianyungang and Hangzhou-Huangshan, the report said.

– Contact HKEJ [email protected]

JP/RC

 

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