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China approves technological innovation plan to refuel growth

Updated: Jul 21,2016 7:03 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — The Chinese government on July 20 decided to officially implement a five-year plan for technological innovation to help foster new engines for a slowing economy.

Approved at an executive conference of the State Council, the plan, which maps out technological improvement from 2016 to 2020, will facilitate the rise of new economies and propel ongoing economic upgrades, said a statement released after the meeting.

“Innovation is the primary driving force for economic development,” according to the statement.

Confronted with a lingering slowdown, the world’s second largest economy has started to count on technological innovation to provide new growth momentum.

Both basic and cutting-edge scientific research will be strengthened, with better facilities, new national research bases, more innovative researchers and improved global cooperation, said the plan.

A series of major projects will be launched in quantum communication and precision medicine, while disruptive innovation can be expected in the seed industry, clean coal, 5G technology and smart robots.

China’s policymakers expect technological improvement to drive emerging industries and overhaul traditional sectors.

Scientific and technological advances should contribute 60 percent of economic growth by 2020, up from the current 55.1 percent, and China’s global ranking in innovation capability will also improve, according to the plan.

The government will encourage tech firms to play a leading role in technological innovation by improving business incubators, establishing a unified technology transaction market, and guiding more resources to innovation.

Researchers will also be motivated with more flexible fund management, higher rewards and strengthened protection of intellectual property.

The meeting was chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.

Apart from the plan, the meeting also agreed to boost the integration of logistics and Internet technology.

A more efficient modern logistics will expand domestic demand, stimulate employment and improve total factor productivity, said the statement.

The government will improve information service for logistics, help nurture new business models and roll out favorable policies including tax breaks, less red tape and financial support.

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