Premier Li Keqiang inspects the Ministry of Science and Technology on Tuesday. He said he"d like to enhance the nation"s technological innovations. [Photo by Wu Zhiyi/China Daily]
Premier says innovations will propel nation to next level of competitiveness
Premier Li Keqiang called to further strengthen technological innovations to proceed with China"s innovation-driven development and boost economic restructuring.
Li spoke during an inspection at the Ministry of Science and Technology on Tuesday.
Innovation-driven development has made breakthroughs in a number of areas, playing a vital role in promoting stable economic growth and steadily increasing employment opportunities, Li said when chairing a meeting at the ministry.
The premier called for continuing supply-side structural reform by using innovation as a leading force to build China into a leader in innovation and technology. Noting an accelerated process of technological breakthroughs that could be industrialized, Li said the country should boost the contribution rate of sciences and technologies to the level of national economic growth.
The country should establish an open platform for innovations and carry out the strategy of "Made in China 2025" to advance customized and smart innovations, Li said. Enterprises are encouraged to join in with basic research and to help transform technological achievements, Li said. In addition, he wants to delegate more power to research institutions and universities in fields such as fund management and arouse enthusiasm among scientists and technologists.
Last year, China spent 1.55 trillion yuan ($231 billion) on research and development, accounting for 2.1 percent of the country"s GDP. Enterprises contributed more than 78 percent, Wan Gang, minister of science and technology, said at the meeting. More than 1 million effective patents were registered last year, ranking the country third globally, he said.
Meanwhile, the nation has made vast progress in innovating new technologies. The contribution rate of scientific and technological progress in the national economy rose to 56.2 percent last year, with world-leading technologies in areas such as high-speed railways, nuclear energy and mobile telecommunication, Wan said.
Before the meeting, the premier visited the Torch High Technology Industry Development Center, an institution administered by the ministry to promote innovation incubators and small and medium-sized enterprises that are based on certain technologies.
Zhang Zhihong, the center"s director, told the premier that enterprises in high-tech zones spent 537 billion yuan on research and development last year while making an output value of 8.8 trillion yuan.
Li encouraged employees at the center to "deliver the torch of innovation" across the country to benefit all people.
Technological innovation has become a vital way to achieve industrial upgrades and to support medium-and high-speed economic growth, said Zhou Zixun, a senior columnist at the China Economic Times newspaper in Beijing. Technological innovations also can help enterprises cut outdated production capacities and improve competitiveness, he said.
China ranked 20th in the Global Innovation Index last year. The country also ranks 17th in the national innovation index, the only developing country in the top 20 in technological innovation, according to a report released by the Chinese Academy of Science and Technology for Development.