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Premier Li urges steady manufacturing growth

Updated: Jan 04,2020 10:25 PM

China will take measures to maintain growth in the manufacturing sector to stabilize economic development, according to information released following the State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Jan 3.

The manufacturing sector plays a fundamental role in keeping the country’s economy within a reasonable range, as required by decisions made at the Central Economic Work Conference last month, Premier Li said, calling for reforms and market-oriented moves to energize market entities and nurture growth drivers, in pursuit of its stable growth.

Ensure more manufacturing investment from private businesses and SMEs

A steady path for the manufacturing sector requires pushing forward reforms and innovation, the Premier noted, adding that the government should guide financial institutions to create new models that could offer more affordable financing to small- and medium-sized enterprises, while creating a better business environment through continued tax and fee cuts.

“As the manufacturing sector thrives, private businesses and small- and medium-sized enterprises are a vital force, in terms of both investment and job creation,” the Premier said. “Greater efforts, including the removal of unreasonable access barriers, should be made to leverage their role in investing in the sector.”

The statement announced decisions to lower sector-wide costs for electricity and telecommunication services, and fully open up the power trading market to all industrial enterprises above the designated size.

Meanwhile, credit policies will tilt toward manufacturing enterprises to spur more medium- and long-term loans to them, and so will financial instruments, like equity investment and bond financing. Protection will be strengthened for property rights and intellectual property rights.

Advanced manufacturing, particularly smart and green manufacturing, deserves a big push, according to decisions made at the meeting. To this end, policies should be in place to support investment in emerging manufacturing-related infrastructure, like information networks. Enterprises should be encouraged to strengthen technological transformation and raise productivity.

Be more active in global competition and cooperation

The sector must be more open if it is to secure stable growth, Premier Li said, urging manufacturing enterprises to have more global presence, as this is the only way to build a prosperous future.

As China has opened its manufacturing sector across the board, he said, government departments should work to identify and remove obstacles to implementing this opening-up policy.

To develop the manufacturing industry, China should tap into domestic demand and upgrade traditional industries through sophisticated technologies to expand options for Chinese consumers who can have access to a wider variety of higher-quality industrial products made in China.

At the meeting, decisions also were made to improve policies involving planning, use of land or sea areas and energy consumption to facilitate the launch of major manufacturing projects, whether domestic or foreign-invested; support China's central, western and northeastern regions to take over transferred industries and attract foreign investment; and drive the automobile industry’s reform and development.

Achieving steady manufacturing growth must involve various considerations, with a focus on key links and areas, Premier Li added.