BEIJING — China is encouraging 120 large state enterprises and 1,000 other key enterprises to set up overseas ventures to which they would supply equipment, expertise, raw materials and parts.

The government is targeting for the program highly competitive companies with strong management skills and operations, good credibility and experience in overseas business and exports.

The ventures would assemble and manufacture a wide range of products including automobiles, motorcycles, small farm machinery and equipment; plus televisions, refrigerators and other products that have poor sales in China due to oversupply and weak demand.

Officials hope increased investments abroad will help boost China's exports, find markets for surplus goods and improve the technological capabilities of the companies. China's exports grew only 0.5% in 1998 compared to 21% in 1997.