Private firms seen as key to growth hopes

2023-07-25 09:13:10China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Efforts to help investors get better market access in emerging sectors

China's latest efforts to boost private investment and the nonpublic sector will help entrepreneurs gain a firmer footing in key emerging sectors, which will further stimulate market vitality and drive economic recovery, said company executives and industry experts on Monday.

They made the comments as the National Development and Reform Commission unveiled a package of 17 measures to drive private investment, including offering financing support for private investment projects and further optimizing private-sector investment.

"Recent supportive policies are targeted and precise, which will further help remove barriers to market access. Such support will open more key projects to more private enterprises, and enable them to equally participate in competition and help form an innovative echelon in the country," said Su Meng, chairman and CEO of Beijing Percent Technology Group Co, a leading provider of data science applications.

Su pointed to digital government and public security projects as examples.

"The eligibility criteria for companies to take on such projects used to be relatively high and State-owned enterprises had some natural advantages. In contrast, private firms, which are usually younger than SOEs, found it hard to meet all the qualification requirements," he said.

"Such efforts will also promote both the private and public sectors to cooperate on multiple levels, including investing in joint ventures and joint laboratories. It will greatly accelerate technological breakthroughs and innovations for the country," he added.

Su said private enterprises are expected to have more opportunities to make innovations — just like the Chinese saying, "Let a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools of thought contend."

The NDRC's latest measures include encouraging the private sector to actively participate in projects with huge market space and strong development prospects, while aligning with major national strategies and industry policies to promote high-quality development.

Key sectors include advanced manufacturing, transportation, water conservancy, clean energy, new infrastructure and modern agriculture.

Wang Qinghai, chairman of JCHX Mining Management, a Shanghai-listed mining services provider, said: "It indicates how capable traditional private businesses can transform themselves to participate in major projects and those that are part of key industrial and supply chains. Inspired by such efforts, we will persist with mine construction and contract mining as the basis of our core business development, and meanwhile transform to expand the industrial chain to equipment manufacturing, scientific and technological research and the development and trading of resources.

"Also, the company will employ more new technology as a lead to promote digitalization and intelligent systems in mine construction. We will strive to leverage leading scientific and technological innovations in mine construction, seek greater breakthroughs in core technologies, increase investment in basic research and actively participate in national-level industrial research to ensure more breakthroughs."

The measures come after China unveiled major guidance last week promoting the development of the private sector, which marked the country's accelerated push for private enterprise development amid rising economic recovery pressure.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, fixed-asset investment by the private sector edged down 0.2 percent year-on-year in the first half versus a 0.1 percent decline in the first five months.

Zhang Yansheng, chief researcher at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, said that in terms of fixed-asset investment last year, the growth of government-led infrastructure investment reached 9.4 percent, but the growth of private investment — led by real estate and manufacturing investment — was only 0.9 percent.

"Such a gap demonstrates low private investment expectations, which should be given high attention," Zhang said.

"Recent efforts to drive private-sector growth come from both the central authorities and local governments. With these efforts put into practice, the environment for the private economy will continue to improve and entrepreneurs will gain a firmer footing for future economic development," he added.


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