China's tertiary sector impeded by laggard reform

Updated: 2008-01-28 21:08

BEIJING -- The tertiary sector still lags behind the overall economy despite double-digit annual growth, Xia Nong, deputy director of the Department of Industrial Policy under the National Development and Reform Commission, told reporters here on Monday.

Service-industry output was 9.6 trillion yuan (1.3 trillion US dollars) last year, up 11.4 percent year-on-year. But its share in gross domestic product (GDP) dropped for the second consecutive year, falling by 0.3 percentage point to 39.1 percent.

GDP jumped 11.4 percent year-on-year to 24.6619 trillion yuan in 2007, Xie Fuzhan, the head of National Bureau of Statistics, told reporters last Thursday.

"The service sector is still small-scale, with a defective structure and laggard systemic reform, which has made targets hard to hit," said Xia.

China's planners set a three percentage-point growth target for the share of tertiary industry in GDP from 2006 to 2010. However, the actual proportion has been declining since 2006.

Fixed-asset investment in the service sector grew 23.2 percent to 6.5 billion yuan in 2007. Investment in the hotel and catering industries surged by 42.9 percent, but their output fell by 1.4 percentage points.

Xia said more effective measures would be taken in 2008 to boost the service sector. For example, shareholding reform would broaden in the telecommunications and transportation fields. The tertiary industry would be more open to foreign participation and capital, and overseas technology and managerial skills would be welcome.

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