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China approves stimulus plan for ship building industry
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China's State Council, or Cabinet, adopted a stimulus plan on February 11 for the shipbuilding industry at an executive meeting chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao.

The meeting said shipbuilding is a modern, comprehensive industry that provides technical equipment for transportation, maritime development and national defense. Supporting shipbuilders would also help other sectors, including steel, chemicals, textiles, light industry, equipment manufacturing and information technology, it said.

The meeting agreed to increase credit support by an unspecified amount for ship buyers. It also decided to extend the existing financial support policies for oceangoing vessels until 2012. These policies include tax rebates on key imported components for domestically owned oceangoing ships.

It said construction of new docks and the expansion of slipways should be suspended for three years to facilitate industrial restructuring.

It also recommended investment in research and development of facilities to build high-technology ships and maritime engineering equipment and promote technical innovation.

The meeting also approved a draft plan for fighting drought.

(Xinhua News Agency February 11, 2009)

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