A technician of Dagang Oil Co in Tianjin checks oil exploration equipment. [Photo/Xinhua]
Li chairs meeting that endorses reform, backs creation of level playing field
China is ready to give continued, unswerving support for the reform and development of State-owned enterprises and private businesses, the State Council’s executive meeting, chaired by Premier Li Keqiang, announced on Thursday. The meeting called for solid steps in implementing the three-year action plan for SOE reform, and to create a level-playing field for private firms.
SOEs need to make continued efforts to achieve higher quality and efficiency, and sharpen their core competitiveness so as to improve their role in underpinning the national economy, those at the meeting urged.
“We will continue to unswervingly consolidate and develop the public sector, and unswervingly encourage, support and guide the nonpublic sector. SOE reform needs to achieve higher quality and efficiency, help facilitate deeper cooperation between the industrial and supply chains and enhance SOEs’ core competitiveness,” Li said.
Solid steps will be taken in implementing the three-year action plan for SOE reform. The task of relieving SOEs of their obligation to undertake social programs will be essentially completed this year, and their nonessential businesses will be spun off at a faster pace to help them better focus on growing their main business.
Greater efforts will be made in deepening mixed-ownership reform, strengthening the modern corporate structure and developing sound market-oriented operating mechanisms.
The meeting also underlined the importance of private businesses and spelled out key policies to facilitate growth of the private sector.
A level-playing field for private firms will be created to boost employment. Market access will continue to be broadened. Power grid operators will accelerate spinning off competitive operations, such as equipment manufacturing. Oil and gas infrastructure will be made equally accessible to all businesses regardless of ownership type.
“We must stabilize the growth of the private sector with all possible means. The private sector contributes over 90 percent of new jobs. It is remarkable for a country with 1.4 billion people to achieve fairly full employment,” Li said.
Private companies will be supported in participating in the construction of major railway projects and the development and operation of passenger and freight stations.
Key national research infrastructure will be made more accessible to the private sector. Accreditation of national-level technology centers in private companies will be accelerated. Channels for private business employees to get professional qualifications will be unclogged.
Financing support for private businesses will be facilitated. Local governments will be encouraged to establish risk-sharing mechanisms for loans made to micro, small and medium-sized companies.