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China will accelerate the industrialization of its renewable resources to foster a new industry with strategic significance, said Xie Zhenhua, vice minister of the National Development and Reform Commission on Friday.
"The NDRC has drafted the National Sustainable Economy Development Plan for 2011-15 to be submitted to the State Council for approval soon," Xie said in a keynote speech during the First Chinese Renewable Resources Industry Development Summit Forum held in Qingdao, Shandong province.
The plan calls for 10 demonstration principles, 100 demonstration cities and 1,000 demonstration enterprises and industrial parks, as well as a series of preferential policies regarding finance, tax, pricing and investment in a bid to accelerate the development of China's green economy.
He said China's resource recycling industry has grown quickly, bringing some 20 million jobs. The industry now has 1 trillion yuan ($158 billion) in annual revenue.
The country's 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15) prioritized the establishment of sustainable economies to support the development of an eco-friendly, resource-conserving society.
Construction started in December 2009 on the first national-level circular economy demonstration zone in Gansu province.
In Hunan province, the Miluo Circular Economy Industrial Park has 256 enterprises specializing in waste-recycling, comprehensive utilization, renewable materials wholesale, modern logistics, e-commerce and science and research.
Xie said rapid urbanization means China needs to greatly improve its use of recycled materials and reduce its reliance on mineral resources to form a sustainable development model that is economically viable, environmentally sound and socially responsible.
He said the government will strive to cope with the reality that the country's recycling industries are scattered across a vast country. Additionally, they are often small in scale, have obsolete equipment and are inefficient.
Chun Chi-wai, chairman of China Metal Recycling (Holdings) Ltd, said policy supports should be provided to guarantee the sustainable growth of the renewable resources industry.
"Most enterprises in renewable resources are private enterprises on the mainland. After they finish capital accumulation, the key to a successful transformation and upgrade is to implement new large-scale operations and mechanized production," Chun said.
Xie said enterprises will be encouraged to form strategic alliances, extending their industrial chains to develop an integrated recycling economic ring through the collaboration of preliminary recycling companies and manufacturing enterprises.
In the meantime, the Second China International Circular Economy Expo 2012 is being held in the coastal city from Friday through the weekend.
The expo attracted 600 Chinese exhibitors and more than 150 foreign exhibitors, such as the US-China Energy Cooperation Program, the World Resources Institute and the Bureau of International Recycling.
Hu Qing contributed to this story.