China Surpasses Japan as Asia’s Top High-Tech Exporter

China has brought to an end Japan’s dominance of Asia’s high-technology exports, according to the Asian Development Bank.

China accounts for 43.7% of Asia’s exports of high-tech goods
China also leads in exports of low-tech goods with 55.4% share

China’s share of Asia’s exports of high-tech goods such as medical instruments, and aircraft and telecommunications equipment rose to 43.7 percent in 2014 from 9.4 percent in 2000, the ADB said. Japan’s share slid to 7.7 percent last year from 25.5 percent in 2000. Southeast Asian nations including Malaysia and Philippines also lost market share.

The shift marks China’s success in boosting innovation and technology as key drivers of its economy as it seeks to move up the manufacturing value chain. Low-tech goods accounted for 28 percent of China’s exports in 2014, compared with 41 percent in 2000, according to ADB’s Asian Economic Integration Report 2015 released Tuesday.

“China has made inroads in taking more and more hi-tech manufacturing onshore even as a lot of critical components are still imported from other countries,” said Frederic Neumann, co-head of Asian economic research at HSBC Holdings Plc in Hong Kong. “It’s becoming highly competitive, with highly skilled labor and we’re seeing increasing research and development moving into China.”

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