China plans to build eight automobile export bases to standardise the country's car and car parts export market and facilitate technical innovation in the auto industry.

According to the official Xinhua news agency, the eight national bases "handpicked" by the ministry of commerce and the national development and reform commission are located in Changchun, Shanghai, Tianjin, Wuhan, Chongqing, Xiamen, Wuhu and Taizhou.

Another 160 companies specialising in the production of automobiles and auto parts including AFW-Volkswagen Automobile and Chery were designated as "export-oriented automobile manufacturers".

The Chinese authorities expect the production bases and manufacturers to play a leading role in optimising automobile exports, protecting intellectual property rights and raising the innovation of domestic industry, according to vice premier Wu Yi.

China-made automobiles are mainly sold to emerging markets such as the Middle East, Latin America and Russia. The China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation signed a 15-year agreement with 17 manufacturers that will help them fend off risks from fluctuating exchange rates and political changes abroad.

They also inked an agreement with the China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company to facilitate shipments of their exports.

The agreements, the first to be signed by automobile manufacturers, transportation companies and insurers, indicated the ambition of China's car manufacturers to make bolder moves into world markets, noted vice minister Wei Jianguo of the ministry of commerce.

China's car and car parts export generated $US10.9bn in revenue last year, up 34%. Car exports outpaced car imports for the first time last year by 11,000 units to stand at 173,000 units, according to official data.

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