China launches plan to support high-end manufacturers

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China’s government will support companies that make high-tech equipment for a range of sectors including railways, energy and agriculture, the top economic planning body said, as Beijing focuses on more value-added industries to spur its economy.

In a statement published on Tuesday, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said the government would ensure these industries received financial support and would be encouraged to make overseas acquisitions.

The government will also actively procure from these companies, the statement added.

The NDRC said these efforts were part of a two-year plan to create globally competitive, home-grown brands in six industries: railway transport equipment, high-tech marine equipment, industrial robots, electric cars, modern agricultural machinery and high-end medical devices.

With the economy growing at its slowest rate in decades and rising costs eroding China’s competitiveness as the world’s factory, the government is keen to move away from low-value manufacturing and in May unveiled its “Made in China 2025” strategy.

The government also merged its top two train makers this year to create the world’s biggest firm CRRC Corp with the aim of exporting China’s rail technology.

Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Miral Fahmy