China to fund US$ 9.1 mln to develop technologies for making ball point pens

BEIJING: China is set to launch a three-year project to develop its own core technologies in ball point pen making, which currently rely heavily on foreign technologies, said a statement from the Ministry of Science and Technology on Wednesday. With a fund of 60 million yuan (about 9.1 million U.S. dollars), the project will be carried out from June 2011 to June 2014, the statement said.The project to make ball point pens, a home-grown product, will mostly focus on developing core production techniques, including producing inks, pen points, and the mechanisms to match the two.The project was initiated in response to calls for upgrades in the country’s ballpoint pen-making industries in past years.

China’s Science and Technology Minister Wan Gang said during the recently concluded annual session of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference that “a proposal submitted to the session gave him quite a shake-up.”According to the proposal, China manufactures 38 billion ball point pens every year, 90 per cent of the pen points are imported from overseas and 80 per cent of the ink is imported or produced by imported equipment. Manufacturers only earn 0.1 yuan from making a ballpoint pen.“Using advanced technologies to renovate and upgrade traditional industries is an important part for China in building an innovative country,” Wan said.“It doesn’t mean we should not use overseas technologies,” said Wan, “But Chinese companies must enhance their position in the world’s industry chain to facilitate a more reasonable distribution of profitsk – APP