China's electronic and information industry will grow to at least eight times its present size in the period from 2000 to 2020, an official with the Ministry of Information Industry (MII) said yesterday.
"The nation's gross domestic product will increase by four times to about 35 trillion yuan (US$4.22 trillion), according to the State. But the information industry - the biggest industrial sector of the country - should have a better performance," said Zhou Zixue, director-general of the Department of Economic System Reform and Economic Operation.
He made the remarks at the 2003 China Electronic and Information Industry Forum organized by his department and the China Electronic Chamber of Commerce, the largest electronic association in the country.
With China's electronic and information industry growing 32 times over the last 20 years of the 20th century, Zhou believed the industry could achieve an eightfold increase or more in the first 20 years of the 21st century.
He predicted the industry would maintain a 30 percent growth rate this year, with its output exceeding 2.1 trillion yuan (US$254 billion).
Program-controlled switch machines, handsets, televisions and notebooks will be some of the hot products this year, he said.
Zhou also released the results of the industry's performance for the past year.
MII statistics show that the industrial output of electronic and information enterprises reached 1.78 trillion yuan (US$215 billion), rising 21 percent year-on-year, while the sales volume grew by 17.8 percent to 1.4 trillion yuan (US$169 billion).
However, the taxes they contributed dropped by 7.3 percent to 26 billion yuan (US$3.14 billion) due to preferential taxation policies for the industry and the tax cut after the country's accession to the World Trade Organization.
Last year, China exported US$92.5 billion in electronic and information products, up 42 percent from that of 2001. The industry's imports were US$85 billion, rising 43 percent.
Good performances in the consumer electronics sector contributed to the industry's steady development, Zhou pointed out.
Last year, China made 50 million color televisions, but the sales were 51.9 million units and exports also rose by more than 50 percent to over 16 million units.
(China Daily January 17, 2003)