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State Firms to Post More Profits
China's state-owned enterprises (SOEs) will post a slightly bigger profit this year than in 2000, thanks to further substantial reforms, a Chinese official said at a press conference held by the China Secretariat for APEC 2001 in Shanghai on Wednesday.

The January-August period of this year saw a 13.7 percent rise in the total profits of the SOEs, which hit 155.55 billion yuan (US$18.74 billion), said Li Rongrong, minister in charge of the State Economic and Trade Commission (SETC).

He predicted that the SOEs will maintain the momentum and by the end of this year, profits made by all state-owned industrial enterprises will total 430 billion yuan (US$51.81 billion).

However, he said the world economic slowdown has had an increasing impact on China's economy for the past three months.

July and August saw an average five percent decrease in the profits made by the SOEs, as a result of the decrease in exports, said the minister.

The Chinese government has taken concrete measures to promote SOE reforms, Li said, adding that the measures include a number of training programs for the executives, corporate restructuring, use of overseas investment and improving corporate management.

Meanwhile, the SETC has adopted policies to encourage the purchase and transfer of SOE equity, he said, noting that the central government has also decided to open a number of key sectors in the country's central and western regions to overseas investors.

In the coming years, the Chinese government will continue to concentrate on the establishment of a modern enterprise system in the SOEs by helping them renovate the management system and upgrade technologies, said the minister.

(Xinhua News Agency 10/18/2001)

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