China Tidbits

Job Loss:The Chinese government says that 20 million migrant workers have “recently lost their jobs,” according to state media. This follows an official statement that 2009 would be “possibly the toughest year” for economic development in China since the turn of the century.

Some 15.3 per cent of China’s 130 migrant workers are now jobless, the Ministry of Agriculture said in a statement.

China says five to six million new migrant workers are trying to enter the job market every year. “Therefore, about 25 million rural migrant workers will face huge pressure finding jobs this year,” Chen Xiwen, Director of the advisory body Central Rural Work Leading Group, said.

Chen added that, “The increasing number of jobless migrant workers has posed a fresh threat to the social stability.”

UK-based The Guardian newspaper says that, “Some economists say the real figure could ultimately reach 40 million.”

Textile export tax rebates: China’s State Council has announced that it will increase the tax rebate rate for textile and garment exports, from 14 to 15 per cent. It’s the third such rebate rise since August 2008.

The move is aimed at “reducing exporters’ costs and [to] support the textile industry.” The effective date of the new rebate rate was not specified.
Figures from Chinese Customs show that the growth of 2008 textile and garment exports was down 10.7 per cent compared to 2007. The Ministry of Commerce blamed the fall on “the appreciation the yuan, industry liquidity shortage and production material costs surge.”

Intel: U.S. chipmaker Intel Corp said on Thursday that it will close its assembly and test plant in Shanghai and shift operations to central China, state media reports. Some 2,000 people will lose their jobs.

Sichuan province’s capital Chengdu was singled out as the new home for the plant, a city that offers lower labour costs than Shanghai. Intel called the move a result of “recent economic conditions” and added that the 2,000 workers employed in Shanghai would have the opportunity to apply for jobs at Intel plants in Dalian and Chengdu.

The Shanghai plant was the first built in China by Intel, at a cost of USD 500m. In January, Intel announced the closure of five factories in the United States, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Toymakers:- Chinese companies exported toys worth USD 8.63 bn in 2008, up 1.8 per cent year-on-year, the General Administration of Customs said. Some 49 per cent of all toy producers reportedly went out of business in 2008. Official figures show that there are still 4,388 toy makers in China.

Statistics– China reported a fiscal deficit of RMB 111 bn in 2008, as revenue grew 19.5 per cent to RMB 6.13 trillion, and expenses increased 25.4 per cent to RMB 6.24 trillion.

– Trade between China and the United States grew to USD 333.74 bn in 2008. Exports to the United States increased 8.4 per cent to USD 252.3 bn, while imports into China rose 17.4 per cent to USD 81.44 bn.

– Beijing’s insurance companies recorded a premium income of RMB58.6 bn in 2008, the Insurance Regulatory Bureau said. This represents a 17.7 per cent growth compared to 2007.

– Gold output from China grew 4.26 per cent year-on-year to 282.007 tonnes in 2008, the China Gold Association said.

– Chinese shipbuilders recorded a 50 per cent year on year jump in profits in 2008, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said in a statement. Profits grew to RMB28.34 bn.

– China’s industrial output rose 12.9 per cent in 2008, state media reports. Growth declined 5.6 per cent compared to the 2006 to 2007 period. Some 31 out of the 39 industries that are included in the report recorded a profit growth.

[Source: BizChina-Update]