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Premier presses Northeast to step up reform, opening-up

Updated: Jul 1,2019 9:58 PM

Reform and opening-up plays a key role in revitalization of the Northeast region, Premier Li Keqiang said during an inspection tour to Dalian, Northeast China’s Liaoning province, on July 1.

Premier Li heard reports on the ongoing Liaoning coastal opening-up projects. He fully appreciated the achievements of the Liaoning Port Group, which turned losses into gains by introducing foreign investment and transforming their operational mechanism via restructuring.

Reform and opening-up stays on top of the agenda in pushing forward revitalization of the Northeast region, the Premier said. Local authorities should fully implement the decisions of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council, while enabling the market to play a decisive role in distributing resources.

Local authorities should improve the business environment through streamlining administration and delegating powers, in a bid to beef up the competitiveness of local enterprises.

Boasting sufficient coastlines and premium ports, Liaoning should unswervingly stick to all-around opening-up and foreign and domestic cooperation, in order to take an upper hand in international competition and facilitate the revitalization of the Northeast regions accordingly.

Referring to the blueprints regarding the Dalian Port reported by the local authorities, Premier Li asked them to take a page from the book of other regions, including taking into consideration the interests of all parties involved, making the most of all types of resources, and optimizing industry clusters. And he pressed the departments concerned to provide the region and enterprises with more convenience.

Hengli Group is a large petrochemical project with investments from private enterprises. Premier Li encouraged them to meet the domestic requirements and make the most of resources. He also debriefed the enterprise about the reduction in taxes and fees. On hearing their positive responses, Premier Li said that the country is in full support of the development of private enterprises, including medium, small and micro enterprises as well as big ones.

Innovation remains the key to the resurrection of the Northeast region. At the Collaborative Innovation Center of Major Machine Manufacturing in Liaoning, Premier Li encouraged the research and development (R&D) staff to face market demands, facilitating the sector to become a medium- and high-end industry.

Inquiring about the implementation of policies regarding the autonomy of utilizing R&D funds, the Premier said that R&D staff are the most active factor in innovation. Hence local authorities should increase R&D funds per capita in this field, with stress on the fundamental R&D sector.

The Premier also encouraged the academicians accompanying him to cultivate young R&D staff whole-heartedly.

Premier Li is concerned about college graduates’ employment. At Dalian University of Technology, he heard a report on employment, and talked with students, asking questions concerning labor contracts, intention to start a business, and any plans to stay in their hometown. The Premier stressed that college education should be combined with vocational training, so that both scientists with advanced theory and engineers with craftsmanship can be cultivated.

Applauding Liaoning’s achievements in economic recovery and improvement in people’s lives in recent years, Premier Li called on the province to play a bigger role in the revitalization of Northeast China, by promoting a higher level of reform and opening-up, and innovation.

State Councilor and Secretary-General of the State Council Xiao Jie and He Lifeng, head of the National Development and Reform Commission, also joined the inspection tour.