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Govt policy moves from past week

Wang Qingyun
Updated: Jul 21,2020 09:44 AM    China Daily

SME payment regulated

On July 14, the State Council, China's Cabinet, released a regulation to ensure timely payments for small and medium-sized enterprises.

The regulation, signed by Premier Li Keqiang, will take effect on Sept 1. It said government departments, public institutions and large companies that purchase goods, projects or services from SMEs must not delay payments for contracts they have signed.

Guilds and chambers of commerce should improve regulation and prohibit large companies from refusing to pay or delaying payments to SMEs, the regulation said.

Government departments and public institutions should make payments to SMEs within 30 days of the delivery of goods, projects or services, the regulation said. It added that if both parties agree, the limit should be no more than 60 days.

Large companies should reach reasonable agreements about the time limit according to the rules and conventions of the industries they work in and pay SMEs within the time limit, the regulation said.

If both parties agree that payment should be made after the products have been checked and accepted, the contract should stipulate a reasonable time limit for the checks to be completed, according to the regulation.

Government departments, public institutions and large companies should pay interest on overdue payments to SMEs, the regulation said.

Every year before March 31, government departments and public institutions should publish the amount of overdue payments to SMEs from the previous year, as well as the number of related contracts, on websites, newspapers or other platforms that are easily accessible by the public, according to the regulation.

Large companies should include overdue payments in their annual reports and publish such information in the National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System.

When signing contracts with government departments, public institutions and large companies, SMEs should take the initiative to inform the other side that they are SMEs, the regulation said.

State Council departments in charge of SME promotion must provide platforms where companies can check to establish if they should be deemed as SMEs, the regulation said.

High-tech zones

On July 17, the State Council issued a guideline to boost national high-technology industrial development zones.

Governments of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities, along with ministries and institutions overseen by the State Council, should focus on nurturing internationally competitive companies and industries, and make the zones examples of innovation-driven, quality development, the guideline said.

The zones' ability to innovate should be significantly enhanced by 2025, and a number of globally influential high-tech parks should be established by 2035.

The zones should partner with colleges, universities and research institutes to improve innovation.

They should also invest more in basic and applied research, and authorities should support businesses in taking up national and local science projects and industrializing major innovations.

Additionally, the authorities should support the development of high-tech companies in the zones by encouraging them to raise investment in research and development, improve their management of intellectual property rights and enhance brand building.

They should also carry out major projects to apply new technologies, maintain development of the digital, platform, intelligent and sharing economies, and encourage the use of new technologies, materials and equipment.

While following international rules and conventions, authorities should encourage the zones to speed up the import of international high-end and innovative resources.