China's Wang urges faster shift up export value chain

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Chinese firms and government bodies need to accelerate a shift toward value-added products to seek a better balance in trade, Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan said in comments published on Saturday.

On an inspection tour of the Canton Fair, China's premier trade fair held in the southern city of Guangzhou, Wang called for better product safety and quality, protection of intellectual property rights and fostering of well-known domestic brands.

"In the face of the current very complex domestic and international environment, we must be firmly confident, carry out structural adjustment, speed up rebalancing, and accelerate innovation of organizational structures to promote good, rapid growth of foreign trade," Wang said, according to a summary of his remarks published on the central government's website.

Beijing has been moving away from a reliance on exports of cheap manufactured goods and toward domestic consumption.

China posted a rare trade deficit in the first quarter of this year on the back of rising global commodity prices.

The government is encouraging a shift up the value chain by manufacturers.

In the latest such example, the Xinhua news agency on Saturday cited an official with the industry ministry as saying the government would give strategic support to the integrated circuit sector, aiming for the production of more home-grown chips for use in products such as computers and smart phones.

(Reporting by Jason Subler; Editing by Alison Birrane)