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China's factory production, exports surged in July
( 2003-08-11 16:28) (Bloomberg)

China's industrial production rose by about a sixth in July as companies such as Siemens AG and Huawei Technologies Co. made more cell phones and computers to meet surging overseas demand.

Production rose 16.5 percent from a year earlier to 341 billion yuan ($41.2 billion), the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement in Beijing. China's January-July exports rose a third to $228 billion, the People's Daily said, without providing figures for July alone.

``Export growth plays a big role in pulling up industrial production,'' said Zhou Keyu, an economist at Guotai Junan Securities in Shanghai.

Rising production is helping China's economy, the sixth- largest in the world, expand at the fastest pace in Northeast Asia and creating jobs for some of the eight million people entering the workforce each year. China's gross domestic product expanded 8.2 percent in the first half of this year, outpacing growth in any other major economy.

Siemens, the world's fourth-largest maker of mobile phones, said it plans to invest $30 million in its Shanghai unit. The investment will raise the subsidiary's annual production capacity to 14 million cell phones from 10 million currently.

``Siemens is expanding because there is good market demand and also we have good facilities and manpower in Shanghai,'' said Wang Chuandong, Siemens spokesman in Beijing. The cell phones Siemens makes in Shanghai are sold in China, Southeast Asia, India, and Europe, he said.

Surging Production

Huawei Technologies Co., China's largest maker of computer- networking equipment, said exports rose 70 percent to $350 million in the first half due to growing demand in Thailand, Russia and Latin America. Huawei exports to roughly 40 countries.

China's electronics and computer production rose 77 percent in July and cell phone production increased 65 percent. Auto production surged by about two-fifths to 341,000, with passenger car production 71 percent higher at 171,000 units, today's statement said.

Steel production increased a quarter to 19.8 million tons last month.

Guotai Junan's Zhou said he expects China's industrial production growth to average 15 percent ``for at least the next year.''

The median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of five economists was for industrial production to have increased 16.1 percent in July. In June, production rose 16.9 percent.

Exports in July rose 31 percent to $38.1 billion and imports climbed 35 percent to $36.5 billion, according to Bloomberg News calculations.

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