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‘Breakthroughs’ key to 2013: forum

By Song Shengxia  (Global Times)

08:34, January 21, 2013

Chinese firms must make breakthroughs in 2013 through restructuring and upgrading to cope with the volatile international economic situation and the third industrial revolution, government officials, economists and entrepreneurs said Sunday.

The world economy in 2013 is still in a restructuring phase. Problems such as incomplete structural reform and sluggish demand will not change fundamentally and the impact of the financial crisis will persist for a long time, the People's Daily reported Sunday, citing an unnamed speaker at the Ninth Chinese Business Development Forum held in Beijing.

Developing countries are adopting 're-industrialization' strategies during the 'third industrial revolution,' a term for an economic development trend dominated by the Internet and new energy. Chinese businesses will face bigger pressure to restructure their business development models, the speaker said.

It is a key issue for Chinese businesses to make breakthroughs through restructuring and upgrading to cope with the complicated international economic situation and the third industrial revolution, the speaker said.

The forum came after China released on Friday its GDP data for 2012, which showed that the country's economic expansion slowed to 7.8 percent year-on-year, the slowest pace since 1999 and a decline from 9.3 percent in 2011 and 10.4 percent in 2010.

It also came after the Ministry of Finance announced Friday that the profits of Chinese State-owned enterprises dropped 5.8 percent year-on-year in 2012.

"In 2013, trade protectionism by foreign countries and trade friction will continue to prevail. Chinese firms should be prepared for a worsening external environment," said Xu Baoli, director of the Competitiveness Research Department of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission.

"Chinese firms lack the capacity to create new market demand. The key to restructuring is for firms to adjust their key product mixes, explore the high-end sector and upgrade R&D capabilities to improve their competitiveness," Xu said.

The forum also named the top 10 most important Chinese business news stories of 2012.

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