Technology fair eyes innovation
China's best-known annual high-tech fair aims to boost industrial innovation and serve as a driving force to improve the quality and efficiency of economic growth as the nation's economy slows down, officials said on Sunday.
"Industrial innovation will demonstrate an outstanding advantage in building up a new competitive edge and boosting economic development, especially at a time when the economy is not doing well," Xu Qin, mayor of Shenzhen, told a press conference.
The 15th session of the China Hi-Tech Fair, jointly hosted by the Shenzhen government and ministries including the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, will be held in Shenzhen from Nov 16 to 21.
The fair, with an exhibition area of more than 100,000 square meters, has become China's largest and most influential technology fair.
The 2013 session will focus on enhancing the quality and efficiency of economic growth through industrial innovation, said Luo Lei, deputy director of the department of mechanical, electronic and high-tech industries of the Ministry of Commerce.
"We do have concerns about the external economic situation as the global economy slightly improved this year and quantitative easing measures in developed economies added negative influences," Xu said. "But strengthening the linkage among industries, academia, research and capital will be an important way to enhance the quality and efficiency of economic growth.
"Demand at the 2013 fair will be more robust than in previous years and I am confident the fair will help enterprises with industrial innovations ride out the impacts of the financial crisis, just as it did in 2009 after the onset of the global financial crisis," he added.
This year's fair will include high-tech trading, product exhibitions and a forum on Chinese technologies. More advanced technologies and products will be on show to meet demands for environmental protection, while the latest technology from strategic emerging industries and low-carbon sectors will be the focus of the fair's exhibitions, according to Xu, who also heads the fair's organizing committee.
The world's second-largest economy grew 7.7 percent in the first quarter, failing to extend a pickup that began in the fourth quarter of last year when economic growth rose 7.9 percent, stepping out of a seven-quarter slowdown.
Profits of industrial companies with annual revenue of 20 million yuan ($3.24 million) or more registered 464.9 billion yuan in March, an increase of 5.3 percent from a year earlier, compared with a 17.2 percent gain in the first two months of this year, the National Bureau of Statistics said on its website on Saturday.
Xiao Chunquan, a spokesman for the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said on Tuesday the industrial sector is confronted by considerable pressure. This stems from a lack of robust growth in consumption as well as in investment of fixed assets.
The preliminary reading for a purchasing managers' index, a gauge of manufacturing activity that was released by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics on Tuesday, stood at 50.5. This compares with a final reading of 51.6 for March, indicating an unsatisfactory economic performance in April, said Tang Jianwei, an economist at Bank of Communications in Shanghai. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.