China is stepping up its efforts to develop its logistics industry, as the government announced its goal of building a modern national logistics service system by 2020.
The State Council's executive meeting, chaired by Premier Li Keqiang, approved a plan on Wednesday to develop the logistics industry in the middle and long term.
The move aims to lower the operational costs of logistics enterprises and improve logistics infrastructure networks, as well as to develop large-scale companies to improve the industrial chain, according to a statement released after the meeting.
China's economy has grown at a fast pace, but its logistics and transportation sector as a whole remains in comparatively early stages of development.
The fierce competition has created a market in which rivals offer similar and limited services.
A total of 12 logistics issues, including services for agriculture, manufacturing, industrial material supply chain and recycling materials, will become priorities because these businesses can create more new market growth points to the industry, the statement said.
The government will accelerate the reform pace to upgrade the management style of various couriers and crack down on illegal charges and regional protectionism to create a fair market environment.
It also promised to ensure land supplies and use for building logistics service facilities such as warehouses and package sorting centers, to improve the statistical system of logistics costs, and to introduce preferential financial policies for the sector.
Zhou Zhicheng, deputy director of the research department of the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing in Beijing, said making medium- and long-term plans is a useful way to optimize industrial structure, as diversified distribution models and the fast development of e-commerce today have changed the operation method and network density of China's logistics market.
"As more Chinese companies are inclined to expand and create new businesses nationwide, their demand for logistics will expand beyond coastal cities, with broader national network coverage, and consistent, upgraded and standard services will become a key differentiator in comparison with previous market condition," Zhou said.
The meeting also arranged the work details of building an economic belt along the Yangtze River to underpin China's sustainable economic development.
The statement stressed that the Yangtze River Delta is a key pole in China's economic growth while the central and western regions along the belt boast the largest space for further economic growth.
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12-Jun-2014 Zhong Nan