Xi urges efforts to boost SMEs' innovation

2022-09-09 China Daily Editor:Mo Hong'e

President Xi Jinping has called for efforts to step up support for small and medium-sized enterprises to promote innovation and foster more "little giant" companies.

Xi emphasized the need to create a favorable business environment for them, consolidate their confidence in growth and strengthen protection of intellectual property rights.

He made the remarks in a congratulatory letter sent to a conference on the development of such enterprises that opened on Thursday in Nanjing, Jiangsu province.

Noting that SMEs serve as a significant force for bolstering innovation, expanding employment and improving people's livelihoods, Xi said he hoped that the "little giant" companies will play a more vital role in helping to reinforce the stability of the nation's industrial and supply chains and promoting economic and social development.

The phrase "little giant" refers to the SMEs in China that specialize in niche sectors, command a high market share and have strong innovative capacity and core technologies.

China has placed great emphasis on strengthening the nation's technological prowess in strategically important industries.

Xi, while presiding over the 27th meeting of the Central Commission for Comprehensively Deepening Reform on Tuesday, stressed improving the new system of mobilizing resources nationwide to achieve breakthroughs in core technologies in key fields.

Jin Zhuanglong, minister of industry and information technology, said at the conference that more efforts should be made to improve laws and regulations and formulate relevant measures to encourage innovation and facilitate financing for SMEs, while ramping up support to help SMEs tide over difficulties.

During the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) period, China aims to nurture 10,000 "little giant" companies, marking an important strategic step in boosting the resilience of the manufacturing chain and triggering the vitality of SMEs in the nation's sprawling industrial economy, according to the ministry.

So far, China has incubated 8,997 such companies, which have participated in the formulation and revision of more than 13,000 industry standards in China, according to a report released on Thursday.

Their operating income reached a total of 3.7 trillion yuan ($532 billion) in 2021, surging 31.5 percent year-on-year — 11.6 percentage points higher than the income growth rate of SMEs that have annual income of at least 20 million yuan, the report said.

Li Xianjun, an associate researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of Industrial Economics, said "little giant" companies, which boast cutting-edge technologies and can tackle some bottleneck problems, are playing an increasingly crucial part in boosting the stability of the nation's industrial and supply chains and in enabling China to become a manufacturing powerhouse.

"The latest move to nurture more 'little giant' companies is conducive to strengthening China's innovative capacities and enhancing its core competitiveness globally," Li said.

Wang Shuqi, chief strategy officer at Beijing Eyecool Technology Co, a "little giant" enterprise based in Beijing, said she is very excited to see the government's commitment to promoting innovation and helping innovative SMEs.

"We have enjoyed some favorable policy support from the government, such as free access to third-party enterprise information platforms. We expect more assistance from the city government, covering funding, talent and R&D, so as to further increase our investment in advanced technologies," she said.

The company has built a biometric identification system that can be used in different scenarios, including public security, finance, education and government affairs.

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