WUHAN, March 31 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has called for realizing healthy and rapid economic growth through technical innovation and industrial upgrading during a visit to the country's central regions.
More government support should go to high technology industries such as electronic information, software service and bio-medicines, Wen said during a visit to enterprises in Hubei Province from Sunday to Tuesday.
Wen emphasized importance of possessing intellectual property rights and encouraged companies to strengthen research and development and make breakthroughs in core technologies.
The country's future lay in innovation, and all challenges would be conquered if China adhered to innovation in its development, Wen said.
Visiting automobile, shipbuilding and steel companies in Wuhan, the provincial capital, Wen encouraged the manufacturing sector to make full use of government support plans.
"We must have confidence in ourselves and work hard during times of hardship so as to take the country's manufacturing industry to a new level," Wen said.
The State Council, the Cabinet, has issued a series of support plans for 10 key industries such as automobile, steel, textile and garment sectors since January in a bid to stimulate China's economy, whose year-on-year growth slowed to a seven-year low of 9percent in 2008.
Wen said agricultural production was stable and urged officials to give priority to the rural economy and raise farmer's incomes, as rural development played an important role in guarding against the impact of the global financial crisis.
Governments at all levels should prevent prices of economic crops dropping by national purchase and price protection, give more agricultural subsidies and enlarge the rural market through policies such as subsidizing rural residents in buying household electric appliances, Wen said.
Wen also urged governments to take measures improve employment and raise living standards.