Foreign offshoot ties to be severed

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 14 April, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 14 April, 1999, 12:00am

Beijing has confirmed it is formulating proposals to force government ministries and departments to sever links with overseas-registered offshoots.

For historical and other reasons, some, such as the Ministry of Communications-controlled China Merchants Holdings, have yet to cut their ties.

Mainland-registered firms were due to cut their links with government parents by the end of last month.

Liu Yongjun, vice-director within the general department of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Co-Operation, yesterday said the government was considering ways of severing the ties of the overseas offshoots.

In Hong Kong yesterday, Mr Liu said mainland export prospects remained difficult this year amid an equally difficult international operating environment.

Prices have fallen 10 to 15 per cent in the wake of falling demand.

However, Mr Liu said the bright spot for the mainland was that exports fell at a slower pace last month than in the first two months.

Exports fell 3.6 per cent year on year last month, after falling as much as 10.2 per cent in February and 10.8 per cent in January.