The restructuring and streamlining of key State-owned enterprises (SOEs) is gaining momentum and the target of reducing their number to less than 100 could be met two years ahead of schedule.
The State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) had planned to cut the number of major enterprises under its control from 157 to between 80 and 100 by 2010.
But the goal looks likely to be met by the end of next year, Wang Zhigang, with the SASAC research center, was quoted as saying by Xinhua.
The government has decided to concentrate State capital on some key industries to sharpen their competitiveness in the face of challenges from foreign firms - and 30-50 Chinese enterprises will be made internationally competitive.
State financial input will be channeled into such sectors as the military, power generation and networks, oil and petrochemicals, telecom, coal, aviation and shipping, according to SASAC plans.
After the restructuring, some enterprises that are not considered vital to national security may be shifted to local management while some local firms with strategic significance may be taken into the fold of central enterprises.
The restructuring will lay a solid foundation for improvement in the competitiveness of enterprises, said Gao Liang, director of the State-assets Research Center affiliated to the National Development and Reform Commission.
He said it will take some time for the new enterprises to get used to their new structure and "they will need a run-in period".
(China Daily June 15, 2007)