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Blueprint issued to develop industries
( 2003-12-30 00:10) (China Daily)

Restructuring China's economy and preventing it from overheating are the two main objectives of the draft industrial development regulations issued Tuesday.

The draft, published by the nation's economic watchdog, the National Development and Reform Commission, is accompanied by a list of detailed sectors and technologies the country is encouraging to develop in the restructuring process.The list covers specific areas and technologies such as seeding and product processing, and 55 technologies encouraged to be used in the agricultural sector.

According to the list, the State is seeking the expansion of advanced energy systems, genetic engineering, information technology and modern transportation.

In the information technology sector, the State will encourage the development of Internet equipment, satellite telecommunications and computer components.

A commission official told China Daily that the public suggestions to improve the regulation and list need to be submitted by February 10 next year.

The State Council will approve the regulation and list next year, according to the official.

"The development priorities are expected to have great market potential and benefit the whole nation economically and environmentally,'' said the official.

The government also wants investors to start business in western China, where investors can enjoy tax deductions if they invest in the sectors the government encourages them to.

The official said the commission has no plans to revise the investment guidelines list for foreigners issued in 2002.

Zhang Jianyu, visiting scholar with Tsinghua University said the regulation and list can ensure that comprehensive, co-ordinated and sustainable development serve as the basic principles in resolving problems concerning the nation's current economic and social development.

But Zhang contended that the list was far too detailed.

"The government's role in the market economy is not to decide which technologies can be chosen,'' said Zhang. "They should be decided by market forces.''

Lin Yueqin, researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the regulations and the list indicated that the government has consistently strengthened the fundamental role of agriculture.

The spreading of agricultural technologies, in order to upgrade the volume and quality of farm produce and improve the competitiveness of farm products is encouraged by publication of the list.

Investment in agricultural infrastructure, especially in major grain production areas, is being encouraged to improve farmers' working and living conditions.

"This strategy must be carried out consistently,'' said Lin.

China has stipulated many industrial policies during past two decades, but still needs efforts to fully implement them, said Lin.

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