China's plastics industry should resume double-digit growth in the second half of the year, after stumbling from the global economic crisis, according to the head of China's largest plastics industry association.
The industry grew 9.3 percent in the first four months of the year, as China's overall gross domestic product growth slowed to 6.1 percent. But, indications are that government stimulus spending and other factors will push plastics industry growth back above 10 percent in the second half of the year, said Liao Zhengpin, president of the China Plastics Processing Industry Association.
Liao spoke June 24 at a news conference during NPE2009.
Still, Liao said China's plastics industry faces challenges, such as significant technology gaps with developed economies.
He said China's economy would continue to be dependent on advanced foreign technology for upgrades, and called for additional international exchanges.
Liao said Chinese companies still have to put additional spending into research and development and move away from producing lower-value products dependent on cheap labor.
High-value-added products are still lacking, he said.
CPPIA statistics show that China's plastics processing industry took a significant hit from the slowdown in developed economies, as China's plastic product exports to the United States fell 18.5 percent in the first quarter of the year.
Exports to the European Union dropped 17.3 percent, and exports to Japan fell 7.7 percent.
But those declines were offset by growth in China's domestic economy, including from government stimulus spending and reconstruction in China's Sichuan province after last May's earthquake.
With rising costs in coastal areas and Chinese government attempts to boost growth in the less-developed western provinces, plastics industry growth is shifting from provinces like Guangdong, Zhejiang and Jiangsu to western locales like Inner Mongolia and Guizhou, Liao said.
CPPIA Chinese industries such as building products are doing well, where growth in sheets, tubes and profiles topped 32 percent in 2008.
There is a sustained and rapid growth of plastic production and market demand remains strong, CPPIA said.
Liao also unveiled some of the industry's plans for next year's Chinaplas trade show, to be held April 19-22 in Shanghai.
He said the Chinese industry is planning a summit with leaders of the Japanese plastics industry, and a news conference with leaders of the Washington-based Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.
In addition to Chinaplas, he said mainland Chinese leaders will have another industry summit meeting with industry from Taiwan, in March, in Taipei.
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