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State Council discusses consumer goods industry, city cluster plan

Updated: May 11,2016 9:13 PM

At the State Council executive meeting presided over by Premier Li Keqiang on May 11, decisions were made to upgrade the consumer goods industry and further facilitate investment, and a city cluster plan for the Yangtze River Delta region was approved.

It is crucial to improve the consumer goods industry, according to the meeting, which called for government to help companies in the sector, by increasing product variety and quality, and building domestic brands, to better meet consumer demands.

Consumer demand is the final demand, said the meeting.

The State Council vowed to streamline market access while adhering to safety and energy conservation. It also urged enterprises to step up efforts in innovation and use of technology.

The meeting highlighted the emphasis on quality under the craftsman’s spirit, aiming to upgrade “Made in China” for a competitive edge.

For a fair competition environment, the meeting urged international standards for domestic consumer goods. And a better quality management and third-party inspection were also stressed at the meeting.

In addition, the product recall system in China needs to be improved, and time-honored brands need upgrading as new brands are nurtured, said the meeting.

The meeting also called for strengthened supervision. Enterprises with low credit should be included in the blacklist and be severely punished. Intellectual property rights should be further protected, and illegal acts of infringement and counterfeiting be found and punished. Only by improving product quality can the public have trust in domestic brands.

According to the meeting, related departments should further streamline administration and delegate power to lower levels, and improve public services, with efforts to tap the potential of social investment. Approval items of investment projects before construction will be reduced from 65 to 42, in which 24 items concerning planning permission and public facility construction will be consolidated into eight. Items involving environment protection will be kept, and can be handled at government city halls or online platforms.

The meeting stressed the coordinated development of the Yangtze River Delta city cluster by innovative reform, which will help promote industrial upgrading, advance people-oriented new-type urbanization and agricultural modernization, as well as drive the development of surrounding areas and the central and western regions. To achieve this goal, the State Council laid out the following measures.

It urged the area to publicize successes from free trade areas and innovative demonstration zones. Related departments should also carry out pilot programs on government function transformation and mechanism innovation.

The meeting urged the city cluster to act as a leader in opening up, attracting foreign investment and international talent, exploring to build free trade port areas, facilitating trade and promoting the stable development and upgrade of foreign trade.

The meeting also asked the city cluster to play a leading role in developing the new economy. It urged the area to adopt an innovation-driven development strategy, and create an environment for mass entrepreneurship and innovation. It called for innovation in the high-end manufacturing industry, including equipment manufacturing, information technology, automobiles and new materials. It also urged the area to develop a modern service industry including finance, research and development as well as logistics.

The meeting also called for ecological protection of the area and concerted prevention of air, soil and water pollution.

The meeting asked for coordinated development in the area, urging Shanghai to play a central city role in the regional development covering Nanjing, Hangzhou, Hefei, Suzhou, Wuxi, Changzhou and Ningbo.

The meeting also urged the area to build a comprehensive transport network covering the railway, highway and the Yangtze River, promoting infrastructure interconnection. By 2030, the area will be built into a world-class city cluster with global influence.