A job seeker inquires at a company's booth at a job fair in Yichang, Hubei province, on Jan 2, 2021. (Photo by Wang Jianfeng/for China Daily)
Jobs, prices also a priority as 'window of opportunity' has opened, Li says
China will focus on ensuring stability in growth, employment and prices, in order to keep major economic indicators within a proper range, further stabilize and sustain economic development, and secure a good beginning for economic performance next year, according to decisions made on Tuesday at a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.
The meeting pointed out that although the economy has sustained the momentum of recovery and stable growth, its foundation is not solid. It is imperative to implement the decisions of the recent Central Economic Work Conference and better coordinate COVID-19 response with economic and social development.
"This year, in the face of shocks from factors beyond expectation, we have managed to keep employment, prices and the overall economic performance stable, which is no easy feat," Li said, adding that "major economic indicators are on the whole kept within a proper range".
The meeting noted that there is still room for bringing out the effects of the policy package for stabilizing the economy and its follow-up policies, especially construction of key projects and equipment upgrading and renovation.
"The effective work we do now will help maintain stable growth next year," Li said. "It is crucial to seize the window of opportunity and maintain high vigilance. We have been improving COVID response measures, and as the situation in different localities varies, it is important to effectively implement policy measures in light of local conditions, and remove barriers and bottlenecks as needed."
It is also imperative to remain firmly committed to consolidating and developing the public sector, and to encouraging, supporting and guiding the development of the nonpublic sector, in order to shore up the confidence of private enterprises and support their greater development, the meeting decided.
In addition, the sound and sustained development of the platform economy will be supported. Efforts will be made to promote the orderly recovery of consumption of services in light of actual conditions.
The 16 financial policies aimed at meeting people's basic housing needs and their wish to improve housing conditions, ensuring the delivery of pre-sold homes and supporting financing for the real estate sector, among others, will be implemented. Maximum convenience will be provided for foreign trade and investment negotiations.
The meeting noted that China has maintained price stability this year against high global inflation. As New Year's Day and Spring Festival approach, it is imperative to ensure the supply of daily necessities and keep their prices stable.
Furthermore, solid efforts will be made to meet people's needs for anti-COVID-19 and medical supplies, and relevant enterprises will be supported in bringing production to full capacity. In addition, international cooperation will be enhanced, and urgently needed supplies will be imported as appropriate.
The meeting noted that 12 million new urban jobs have been created this year. However, keeping employment stable still faces pressure, and more solid work is needed to maintain job stability and meet people's basic needs.
Policies to help enterprises overcome difficulties and stabilize and increase jobs must be implemented to good effect, the meeting decided. Concrete efforts will be made to help college graduates find jobs. Wage arrears for migrant workers will be redressed, and assistance will be provided to help them return to work on time after the holidays.
Temporary assistance will be provided to people facing difficulties due to COVID-19, with priority given to those in emergency situations. Solid work will be done to secure the basic living needs of disaster-stricken populations.