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Premier solicits opinions from experts, entrepreneurs on work report

Updated: Jan 15,2020 09:13 PM

Premier Li Keqiang chaired a symposium on Jan 15 to hear advice from experts and entrepreneurs on the draft Government Work Report.

Scholars from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Renmin University, Caixin Insight and some entrepreneurial representatives contributed their opinions at the symposium.

As they said, despite the challenges and difficulties last year, proper macro control policies, tax and fee cuts and measures to optimize the business environment have boosted the confidence of enterprises and their ability to overcome hurdles.

It was a hard-won achievement for the nation to realize leading growth among major economies and create more jobs, they said.

Premier Li asked related departments to study their advice.

He said China saw some difficulties in development that had never been faced before, but the nation held its ground in growth while improving the livelihoods of the people.

As the domestic and overseas situation is getting more complicated this year, the government should firmly implement the deployment of the Central Economic Work Conference and put in place targeted policies to ensure the building of a comprehensive well-off society, he noted.

Premier Li mentioned the need to put in place a raft of macro policies to shore up market expectations and ensure the economy runs within a reasonable range.

Among them are proactive fiscal policies, he said, which should center on cuts in both taxes and government expenditures.

Tax and fee reductions, including those of an institutional nature, should lead to tangible long-term results.

Meanwhile, the government needs to tighten its belt and significantly shrink general expenditures, particularly those for administrative purposes, to safeguard people’s basic livelihoods.

A prudent monetary policy is also a key factor, the Premier noted, and involves maintaining reasonably ample liquidity, smoothing the transmission mechanism and ameliorating the financing difficulties facing small and micro businesses.

The employment-first policy deserves due attention for a stable job situation, with actions to widen employment opportunities, support flexible employment and offer better services to key groups backed by the supply of related insurance, he added.

The building of a market-oriented business environment, following the rule of law and international standards, should move onto the fast track, so the vitality of market entities is further spurred.

Such an environment requires an organic combination of cutting taxes, saving expenditures and streamlining administration, the Premier said, highlighting market requirements and business concerns. Reforms of delegating powers and improving regulation and services should continue as well, he added.

He added the government should avoid direct interference in the market as much as possible to create a looser environment where existing enterprises compete fairly in their production and operations and new ones emerge. Letting the market fully play its role in this way, he said, would help fight downward economic pressure.

Premier Li also called for further exploration of the huge domestic market to create a favorable consumption environment.

Enterprises should be encouraged to meet people's rising demands for a better life, explore more domestic demand potentials and increase the supply of high-quality products and services to enhance consumption level, he said.

The government should play a direct role, develop community services in areas of demand such as senior care and daycare, provide more infrastructure and facilities in cities, renovate more old residential areas, and expand effective investment for further growth, the Premier said.

He also said enterprises should be encouraged to actively participate in international cooperation and explore diversified markets.

Vice-Premiers Han Zheng, Sun Chunlan and Hu Chunhua, State Councilors Wang Yong and Xiao Jie, and He Lifeng, head of the National Development and Reform Commission, attended the meeting.