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China now world's 4th largest software producer
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China's annual output value topped 583.4 billion yuan (84.5 billion U.S. dollars) in 2007, becoming the world's fourth largest software producer. There was still a long way for domestic software companies to go, officials said in Beijing on Thursday.

Lou Qinjian, Industry and Information Technology vice minister, said at the International Software China 2008 show that the Chinese software industry had started from scratch since the country began its reform and opening-up three decades ago. It had grown into a fundamental industry with strategic importance to the country.

The country's share of the global software industry rose from 1.2 percent in 2000 to 8.7 percent in 2007, with an annual growth rate of more than 30 percent due to a favorable policy environment.

Cao Jianlin, Science and Technology vice minister, said the country should make an even bigger effort in innovation and personnel training to sustain the industry's long-term healthy development.

The International Software China 2008 opened in Beijing on Thursday and runs through Saturday. Its focus is on industrial policy planning, industrial standards, software technologies and development, investment and financing and enterprise personnel recruiting.

(Xinhua News Agency June 13, 2008)

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