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Premier Li stresses transformation of growth drivers

Updated: Nov 12,2017 7:21 PM

To further consolidate improved and stable economic growth, China should better implement the strategies outlined at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), deepen supply-side structural reform, create new growth engines while upgrading traditional ones and eliminate backward production capacity, Premier Li Keqiang said at a symposium in Beijing on Nov 7.

He made the remarks when discussing economic work with economists and entrepreneurs at the symposium. When exchanging views on the “shining spots” of the Chinese economy, attendees all mentioned “new growth engines”.

Yu Bin, a member of the Leading Party Members’ Group of the Development Research Center of the State Council, said he believes that the positive changes on the economic structure, growth engine and quality and efficiency, brought about by the rapidly growing new engines, have produced overall and continuous influences to the economic growth pattern.

At the meeting, directors from Harbin Electric Corporation, a long-established manufacturing brand, and Chongqing-based, an online platform provider for the sharing economy, sat next to each other, which was explained as a reflection of Premier Li’s focus on cultivating new growth engines while upgrading the old ones.

The head of said sharing economy platforms enable a skilled person in Chongqing to find his employers in Beijing or even in the world, while that was impossible without the online platforms.

He told the Premier that their company’s platform now gathers more than 13 million brain workers among which more than 100,000 find jobs or start businesses online, incubating thousands of enterprises.

“Zhubajie (zbj) is really surprising!” said Premier Li, adding that although the image of Zhubajie (a character in Chinese fantasy novel, Journey to the West) seems clumsy, the company has brought forth endless new ideas and generated amazing creativity by connecting 13 million intellects and gathering their collected wisdom and strength.

To create new growth engines while upgrading the old ones, the country should rely on strategies including Internet Plus and Made in China 2025, the Premier said.

The director of Harbin Electric Corporation told the Premier that because 78 percent of his company’s assets were distributed in the traditional industries, it faces huge upgrading pressure. He expressed the hope that the government could give more policy support for the power generation equipment manufacturing industry on production capacity elimination.

Premier Li said the arrangement of redundant staff in the coal and electricity industries should enjoy the same policies as those in the steel and coal sectors.

During his inspections of local sites, many fruit farmers plant oranges, sell them online and even take care of processing, the Premier said. So are they farmers, businessmen or workers?

While commenting upgrading pressure facing traditional industries, he said great potential will be unleashed if the company could integrate the primary, secondary and tertiary industries, and turn itself into an after-sale service enterprise.

He stressed that to revitalize the real economy, the country should speed up the transformation of old and new growth engines and promote integrated development of the primary, secondary and tertiary industries through Internet Plus.

Bai Chong’en, deputy dean of Tsinghua University’s School of Economics and Management, attributed the booming growth of new economic driving forces to abundant human resources in the country.

“The impressive economic performance in China has largely benefited from the dividend of talent,” Yu Bin said.

Resources of human talent are an important guarantee to accelerate the shift from the old to new growth drivers, Premier Li said.

Human resources and talent are the greatest potential for China’s future development, the Premier said. In this area, great potential has yet to be explored. This is what we could rely on for economic transformation, he added.

The Premier called for continued efforts to streamline administration, and improve the entrepreneurial environment to unleash the talent potential.

“We should give a full play to people’s creativity, let them create more wealth and find their value of life, which will give strong momentum to economic transformation and upgrading,” he said.