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Biotechnology to Account for 5% of China's GDP by 2020

A leading Chinese life scientist estimated that China's biotechnology industry output will hit two trillion yuan (US$250 billion), or 5 percent of the national GDP, in 2020.

China would enter the top five countries in the world for the scale of its biotechnology industry, Zhang Yaping, a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), said in a speech at the ongoing Nobel Laureates Beijing Forum 2006.

Zhang, also director of the CAS Kunming Animal Research Institute, said China had made significant progress in life sciences and biotechnology.

Biotechnology industry has been as a key area for China's science and technology development over the next 15 years, according to the national guidelines on medium and long-term programs for science and technology development (2006-2020), issued by the State Council earlier this year.

By 2020, China aims to develop its own cutting-edge technologies, such as pharmaceutical elements, genetic operations and protein engineering, dry cell-based human tissue engineering, and new-generation industrial biotechnology.

China has established five large biotechnology research and development centers in Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an, Tianjin and Nanjing that have proven their worth with the creation of over 200 kinds of bio-chip products.

Wang Hongguang, director of the China Biotechnology Development Center, said that biotechnology, a major research and development focal point in many developed countries, could one day create revenues ten times that of information technology.

China has already set up a coordination group for biotechnological research and development, chaired by a vice premier-level official.

(Xinhua News Agency September 7, 2006)

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