An annual report that measures the quality competitiveness of China's manufacturing industry has shown an increase for the eighth year in a row.
The national quality competitiveness index (QCI) for the country's manufacturing sectors was 79.98 last year, one point higher than in 2005, according to a press release issued on Friday by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, the country's quality agency.
The steady increase in quality competitiveness effectively supports the development of the national economy and foreign trade, Pu Changcheng, the administration's vice-minister said.
The figure was derived from the collected data of more than 250,000 large and medium-sized enterprises from 29 manufacturing sectors, provided by the administration and the National Bureau of Statistics.
"The calculation indicates that the quality competitiveness of a number of manufacturing sectors has made significant improvements," Pu said.
Thirteen industrial sectors, six more than 2005, made significant gains to a QCI level above 80.
The top five sectors were: Communications equipment, computers and other electronics equipment, with a score of 85.04; measuring instruments and machinery for cultural activities and office work, 84.53; electrical machinery and equipment, 84.01; rubber products, 83.34; and smelting and pressing of ferrous metals, 82.98.
The QCI of 13 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions, including Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Jiangsu and Shandong, surpassed the 80 mark.
East China areas have continued to take a leading role in QCI growth, Pu said.
He said 2006 had witnessed many successful gains because of the implementation of proactive State strategies to grow businesses through quality products.
There were also crackdowns on fake and poor-quality products.
"The efficiency of our quality control and food safety inspections has also boosted the overall quality increases recorded for the year," Pu said.
However, despite all the improvements, problems and weak links still need fixing.
"We still have a long way to go," he said.
"There is an obvious gap between different industries and regions, due to various factors such as technical innovation, new product research and development, facility upgrades and the building of quality capacity."
The lowest QCI recorded last year was 70.88, and the highest of 85.04.
The competitiveness of some sectors was not stable because of various influences including the changing face of the domestic and foreign markets, Pu said.
Competitiveness is still comparatively low in sectors that are labor intensive.