BUSINESS China to energize market entities to sustain growth

BUSINESS

China to energize market entities to sustain growth

Xinhua

20:32, May 26, 2020

Employees work on the production line of inductance components at a small company in Chenggu county, Shaanxi province. (Photo: Xinhua)

BEIJING -- At the ongoing "two sessions," China has pledged fresh efforts to implement an array of measures to inject more dynamism into market entities to achieve stable growth amid COVID-19 fallout.

Explaining China's decision to set no specific target for economic growth, Premier Li Keqiang said when delivering a government work report at the annual national legislative session that it will enable the country to concentrate on ensuring stability on the different fronts and security in multiple areas, including securing the operations of market entities.

China has more than 100 million market entities, with the majority being small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which provide over 80 percent of the nation's total jobs. However, they were also hit hardest by the epidemic.

To boost the restoration of business activities, location restrictions on business registration applying to micro and small enterprises and self-employed businesses will be relaxed, while efforts will be made to facilitate entrepreneurs to start a business and access timely policy support, said the report.

"Once the market entities are secured, employment, people's livelihoods and the fundamentals of the economy would be secured," said economist Zhang Lianqi, also a national political advisor.

China has rolled out a raft of targeted measures to support SMEs since the outbreak of the epidemic.

Policies such as cuts in banks' reserve requirement ratios as well as special relending and rediscount programs have offered low-cost loans of 2.85 trillion yuan (around $400 billion) to firms, especially micro, small and medium-sized enterprises as well as individual businesses, said Minister of Industry and Information Technology Miao Wei.

The ministry's data showed about 91 percent of the SMEs had resumed operations by May 20.

To further promote activities of market entities, China aims to reduce corporate burden by more than 2.5 trillion yuan in 2020, said the report.

Preferential policies will continue to be implemented, including cutting tax and fees, lowering the share of employees' basic old-age insurance paid by enterprises, and extending electricity price reduction for general industrial and commercial businesses to the end of the year.

In terms of the development of the private sector, the report noted China will work to foster an enabling environment and give private businesses equal access to production factors and policy support.

That will not only reduce burden of SMEs, but also come as "a shot in the arm" for their development, said national lawmaker Cai Zhongguang, adding the policies will bring tangible benefits to companies and create a sound environment for them to tide over difficulties.

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