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13 Jul, 2013

China eyes energy-saving, IT industries to spur domestic demand


BEIJING, July 12 (Xinhua) — China is to speed up development in the energy-saving industry and promote consumption of IT-related products and services as it looks to spur domestic demand and push economic upgrading.

Stimulating growth in the two sectors is a multi-purpose approach aimed at easing resource restraints, unleashing consumption potential, stimulating effective investments and fostering emerging industries, according to a statement released after an executive meeting of the State Council presided over by Premier Li Keqiang on Friday.

The latest effort to boost domestic consumption comes as the world’s second-largest economy is working to steady growth in the face of a global meltdown.

Official data showed an unexpected fall in both exports and imports in June, renewing concern over the challenges of stimulating growth amid sluggish demand elsewhere.

Friday’s meeting, an attempt to tap demand potential at home, called for the combined role of the government and the market to create a diversified and fair environment for the development of the two industries.

China will encourage and guide social capital, including private investments, to actively participate in the energy-saving sector, and promote the use of new-energy vehicles among government agencies and public transport to bring the market share of energy-saving products to over 50 percent by 2015, according to the statement.

The State Council vowed to promote the upgrading of energy-saving facilities, accelerate construction of major energy-saving projects, and channel more money from the central budget to support such projects.

Regarding IT-related consumption, including communication services and e-commerce, the State Council said China will press ahead with the construction of network and telecommunication infrastructure and strive to issue 4G licenses by the end of this year.

Efforts to boost consumption in the area also include widening Internet-based information services, piloting “smart city” schemes, boosting e-commerce, and increasing information securities.

Through these plans, China aims to achieve an annual growth of over 20 percent in IT-related consumption for the 2013-2015 period, the State Council said.

In the first five months of 2013, China consumed 1.38 trillion yuan (22.4 billion U.S. dollars) worth of IT-related products and services, up 19.8 percent year on year, data from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has showed.