BEIJING, Feb. 24 -- China plans to offer basic geographic information at low cost or even for free in the future so as to boost development of the geomatics industry, said the national geoinformation authority on Monday.
The policy will offer information support for companies and promote their value-added development based on this data, said the National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation at a meeting.
The government also plans to invest more to buy services from social sectors, take measures to encourage companies to compete internationally, boost growth in consumption of geographic information, and invigorate private investment in this sector, according to the administration.
Marked by great technological advances and service expansion, the geomatics industry has grown rapidly in recent years in China, with an average growth rate of more than 25 percent since 2008.
It is estimated that the annual total output value of China's geomatics industry reached 260 billion yuan (42.5 billion U.S. dollars) in 2013, up 30 percent from 2012, figures from the Ministry of Land and Resources show.
According to a guideline issued by the General Office of the State Council earlier this year, the country aims to foster several leading geomatics enterprises and a batch of medium and small-sized companies in the next five to 10 years.