China's state-owned enterprises (SOEs) must spend more on research and development to become internationally competitive, a government minister said. Speaking to the China Business Summit 2004 in Beijing, Li Rongrong, minister of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, said on average China's major SOEs invested about 1% of their revenue in R&D, while more than three quarters of all SOEs spent even less. For major overseas multinationals, the average R&D spend is 5%. Nonetheless Li said some progress had been made with Chinese firms accounting for 18 of the global top-500 list this year, up from just three nine years ago.
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