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Premier Li stresses steadiness in development

Updated: Jul 16,2019 10:12 PM

Premier Li Keqiang called for stable and healthy economic and social development by stimulating market vitality, tapping potential and enhancing driving forces.

He made the remarks on July 15 while presiding over a symposium attended by economic professionals and entrepreneurs. The Premier analyzed the status of the economy with attendees and listened to their suggestions on the next stage of China's economic development.

Vice-Premier Han Zheng also attended the symposium.

Economic experts and entrepreneurs unanimously agreed China's economic operation stayed within a reasonable rage in the first half of 2019, which demonstrates impressive resilience.

New economic drivers are acting as significant pillars, reductions in taxes and fees are greatly benefiting enterprises and Internet Plus is substantially boosting employment and consumption — all thanks to the efficacy of preferential policies.

Against the complicated international status, Premier Li said, China's economy has maintained steady development and made abundant achievement. The vitality of market entities has been in full swing, with 7.3 million urban jobs newly added. Incomes have also been on the rise.

The ecological environment has witnessed continuing improvements as well.

"Certain indicators came up surprisingly better than expected, and we should cherish hard-won achievements," Premier Li said.

In the meantime, global economic growth is facing a crisis, with trade and investment frustrated and protectionism gaining ground.

With the economic downward pressure staying put for the foreseeable future, China should remain resolute in reform and opening-up, stabilize employment, foreign trade, investment, finance, foreign capital injections, and economic expectations, the Premier said.

China's economic structure requires further work to optimize and upgrade, Premier Li added.

The enormous round of tax and fee cuts carried out in the first half of 2019, targeted cuts in required reserve ratios and other measures played a decisive role in facing international challenges and stabilizing economic performance.

China should continue to implement positive fiscal policies, steady monetary policies and employment-first policies. Moreover, pre-adjustment and nuanced adjustment measures should come in due course.

The government should live up to its promise of annual tax and fee cuts worth 2 trillion yuan ($290.84 billion) to put enterprises at ease, the Premier said.

Monetary policies call for better dissemination, with financing costs for small and micro-enterprises lowered.

Job hunting services, expansion in the enrollment of higher vocational schools and other educational programs need further improvements, in a bid to facilitate employment growth on multiple fronts.

To solve puzzles simultaneously and keep stable economic operation, the extent of reform and opening-up is key, the Premier said. Therefore, administrative reform must be carried out soundly and the business environment should be framed with market-oriented and law-based principles and international standards in mind.

More efforts should be made to expand opening-up, such as implementing the system of pre-establishment national treatment and a negative list for foreign investment, in order to create an unbiased and appealing investment climate.

Enterprises should have the courage to innovate and compete in the international market. Big companies should drive up development of smaller ones in upstream or downstream relations.

Favorable conditions should be created to foster more "unicorn" or "gazelle" companies to expedite the transformation to new driving forces, the Premier said.

Improving people's lives should serve as a guide to cultivate new consumption and investment fields. The quality of consumer goods needs upgrading, as do supplies in the elderly care, nursery, education and health arenas, and Internet Plus life services will be encouraged.

Special local government bonds should be put to good use, construction of major projects should be stepped up and recessive obstacles for private investment should be eliminated to push forward industrial upgrades, the Premier said.

In addition, old residential communities in cities should be spruced up in accordance with local conditions, which will not only bring benefits to people but also promote economic development, he added.

Vice-Premiers Sun Chunlan and Hu Chunhua and State Councilor Xiao Jie also attended the meeting.