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China to deepen regional financial reforms in support of real economy

Updated: Aug 05,2019 08:18 PM    CGTN

China's central bank policymakers spoke about deepening regional financial reforms, using various policy tools to lower corporate funding costs, especially for small firms, during a news conference on Aug 5.

The People's Bank of China (PBOC) also detailed its efforts to improve access to finance to support the real economy.

The bank cited financial reforms in the provinces of Henan and Zhejiang that have increased credit access to small businesses, farmers and families with lower incomes while providing lower lending rates.

In Lankao county in Henan, a comprehensive credit tracking system has been built to boost the financing environment, with loan coverage for local farmers raised by 34 percentage points annually while financing costs decline gradually.

Meanwhile, Jiangxi and Guangdong provinces are making moves in green financing, the bank noted. In Jiangxi, municipal bonds have been issued to support environmentally friendly projects and Guangdong has allowed qualified companies to use their carbon dioxide emissions quotas as collateral for secured loans. In respect of further economic opening up, the Shanghai Free trade zone pioneered innovative services like setting cross-border RMB capital pool.

The PBOC said that proven practices in pilot reform areas will be rolled out on a wider scale when appropriate.

"Regional financial reforms are geared towards sustaining China's stable economic growth. We're working to stabilize six areas: employment, trade, financial markets, investment, foreign investment and overall expectations. Pilot financial reforms across the country should test the waters first before we decide how to proceed," said Chen Yulu, vice-governor of the PBOC.

Chen referred to innovative moves in fostering inclusive finance and supporting science and technology development as examples. "When it comes to strengthening financial support to tackle poverty alleviation, we're trying out unsecured personal loans for farmers with a qualified credit history. We're also exploring more ways for technology SMEs to better access credit, such as allowing the use of intellectual property as collateral for secured loans," he said.

These moves aim to further elaborate the tasks assigned by Premier Li Keqiang during the just-concluded State Council's executive meeting when he vowed to intensify pilot regional financial reforms to enhance the role of finance in supporting reform, opening-up and economic development.

For the next step, Premier Li outlined the principle that regional financial reforms and innovations need to follow macro policy and serve the larger interests. He said, "Local governments must play a part and fulfill their due responsibilities in supporting the growth of small and medium-sized companies and coordinating the macro policy with the needs of regional development."