By Wang Yanlin | 2012-5-31 | NEWSPAPER EDITION
China yesterday approved a guideline on promoting the development of seven emerging industries, including new energy, in its latest move to combat growing pressure pointing to a sharp economic slowdown.
The guideline details the direction and major tasks in the period to 2015 for the industries - energy conservation and environmental protection, new-generation information technology, biotechnology, high-end equipment manufacturing, new energy, new materials and green vehicles.
The State Council, China's Cabinet, said it also approved plans to launch 20 "major projects" for the emerging industries but gave no details of what support they might receive.
It said: "It is strategic to expand key emerging industries. Their growth is of great importance for a stable economic development, especially at the current timing when China has seen mounting downward pressure."
The ownership of core technologies in pollution prevention, safe disposal of pollutants and recycling of resources should be highlighted in China's energy conservation and environmental protection industry, which should also promote clean production and low-carbon technologies, according to the guideline.
The information technology sector should speed up construction of next generation information networks, and make progress in the research of ultra-high-speed fiber and wireless communications technology and advanced semiconductors to enhance global competitiveness.
For green vehicles, car manufacturers should speed up research in high-performance power batteries, motors and other key components.
The guideline said healthy development of the seven industries will mainly rely on a market that can play a fundamental role in allocating resources, forming an optimized policy environment and encouraging market participants.
"China is trying hard to find a balance between inflation control, growth stabilization and economic restructuring," said Tommy Xie, an economist at OCBC Bank. "This move targets both growth sustainability and industrial transformation, and aims at longer-term development."
China's gross domestic product grew 8.1 percent from a year earlier in the first quarter. The slowest pace in nearly three years stoked fears of a hard landing.
From last week, China has been unveiling measures to boost the economy, at a time when some analysts forecast growth may slip below 7.5 percent in the current quarter.
They include subsidies for the purchase of energy-saving home appliances and cars using alternative energy, and the expansion of private investment in some state-dominated fields such as railways, energy, telecommunications, education and health care.
But there won't be stimulus packages as aggressive as the 4 trillion yuan (US$635 billion) program adopted in 2008, Xinhua news agency said yesterday.
The 2008 stimulus package was widely criticized for causing problems such as high inflation, overcapacity, bad loans and a government debt crisis.
"A better way to stimulate the economy without hurting long-term growth potential is to help industries that have a future," said Li Maoyu, an analyst at Changjiang Securities Co.