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[September 13, 2013]
Steel sector can still grow: Baosteel chairman
BEIJING, Sep 13, 2013 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- China's steel sector is slowing down and online business could be its new business model, said Xu Lejiang, chairman of Baosteel Group.
"It is not yet winter for China's steel sector. Instead, it's the late autumn," Xu said.
Steel output still increased 7.4 percent year on year despite the fact the sector had seen ten consecutive quarters of decline.
Xu said most of the steel produced had been consumed, as export is more or less the same and stockpiles at the mills remain low.
The steel sector is closely connected with the economic growth of a country. China has experienced a high growth rate in the past few years, and so has the steel sector, which produces a major raw material for industrialization and urbanization.
As China slows and attaches more importance on a sustainable development, the steel sector is also set to slow and make its own adjustments.
Japan, Europe and the U.S. all underwent transition periods for their steel sectors after the Second World War, Xu said.
"I don't agree with such opinion that the steel industry is a sunset industry," Xu said. "The world's most developed economies such as the U.S., Europe and Japan still have the steel sector under development," he added.
"We are in a different situation with them then. Today we are in an Internet era," Xu said.
Xu expects the steel sector will have a brand new business model after it connects with online business.
"Baosteel regards the development of online business as an important part of its corporate renovation," Xu said.
Baosteel Group is the parent company of the Shanghai arm of Baosteel (600019.SH).
(Edited by Zhang Yuenan, email@example.com)
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