(Yicai Global) March 6 -- State Development & Investment, China's biggest state-owned investment holding company, has left the coal business for good and turning its attention to new energy, according to the company president.
"New energy is the direction of our future development," Wang Huisheng told media on the sidelines of China's Two Sessions, the annual meetings of its national legislature and top political advisory body which are collectively viewed as the country's biggest political event of each year.
"We have totally quit the coal business and will no longer invest in thermal power plants in China," added Want, who is a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the aforementioned political consulting board. "We are now investing in ethanol, photovoltaic power, wind power storage and other energy sources and acquiring assets overseas."
The Beijing-based firm, which focuses mostly on infrastructure, emerging industries, financial services and international business, announced in 2016 that it planned to exit the coal sector within five years, but took just two thirds of that time to accomplish the goal.
SDIC has shifted its mission to remedying areas of weakness to improve lives and guide emerging industries once the Two Sessions are over, Wang added. That means focusing investment on fields that affect the everyday person: medical and healthcare, pensions, water, the environment and poverty alleviation, as well as advanced manufacturing industries such as bioengineering inspection and testing, artificial intelligence and chips.
As an investment company, SDIC should serve as a beacon to others and invest in what the country needs now and the market needs in the future, he said.
Another question the firm is asking this year is how it can enhance efficiency, according to Wang. SDIC could consider investing in the materials industry to lower costs downstream and meet international market needs better.
Editor: James Boynton