China Focus: More reform needed to benefit private enterprises

BEIJING, March 6 (Xinhua) — China should push forward its reform to facilitate the development of private enterprises, a political advisor said Wednesday.

The reform should give them tangible benefits in terms of steady development and fair competition, Liu Shijin, deputy director of the economic committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), said at a press conference.

Compared with state-owned enterprises, private enterprises have seen more difficulties partly due to insufficient credit support, Liu said.

The reform of existing financial enterprises should be promoted, and more importantly, the country should relax market access for the development of a number of financial institutions and financial products that provide special services to smaller firms, Liu said.

The private sector plays an important role in the economic system, contributing more than 50 percent of tax revenue, 60 percent of GDP, 70 percent of technological innovation, 80 percent of urban employment and 90 percent of new jobs and new firms.

“The private sector and the country’s economic and social development have been closely related to each other, and formed a community of a shared future,” Liu said.

However, the difficulties that private firms and small businesses face in accessing affordable financing have not yet been effectively solved. The business environment still falls short of market entities’ expectations, according to a government work report delivered Tuesday by Premier Li Keqiang at the opening of the annual legislative session.

Loans to small and micro businesses by China’s large state-owned commercial banks will increase by over 30 percent in 2019, the report said.

The country also announced reducing the tax burden on and social insurance contributions of enterprises by nearly 2 trillion yuan (about 298 billion U.S. dollars) this year, with a focus on the manufacturing sector and smaller businesses, according to the report.

Liu said that the government’s policy of supporting the development of private enterprises had been “explicit and consistent.”

The non-public sector’s status and functions in the country’s economic and social development have not changed. The principle and policies to unswervingly encourage, support and guide the development of the non-public sector have not changed, and the principle and policies to provide a sound environment and more opportunities to the sector have not changed either, according to an important symposium on private enterprises last year.

Private enterprises have truly felt the government’s unchanged stance on, confidence in and policy support for the private sector, said Nan Cunhui, a member of the Standing Committee of the CPPCC National Committee and chairman of power equipment giant CHINT Group.

“The only change is that what we receive keeps becoming better and better,” he said.

The tax-cut measures for the manufacturing sector put forward in the government work report is a big stimulus to private enterprises and the whole sector, Nan said.

Private firms also need to have the conditions for equal development and a level playing field, Liu said.

Policy support is important, but what’s more important is a stable law-based environment that does not change with short-term policy changes, Liu added.

“We will strive to create a positive business environment in which entrepreneurs can be free of concerns in doing business and running companies,” the government work report said.

Source: Xinhua

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