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Premier: All advice welcome for draft work report

Updated: Jan 16,2020 09:38 PM

Premier Li Keqiang invited six scholars and entrepreneurial representatives to a symposium on Jan 15 to hear their advice for the draft Government Work Report.

"The symposium is open to your opinions and advice for this year's economic and social development, to better gather consensus of the public," Premier Li said.

Encouraged by Premier Li, scholars from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Renmin University, Caixin Insight and some entrepreneurial groups contributed their opinions.

Gao Peiyong, deputy head of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the significance of the massive tax and fee cuts should be better reflected in the report.

As a long-term reform, he said, the unprecedented tax and fee reduction reduced the burden for enterprises, saved more for people's livelihoods and offers better prospects for businesses with tightened government expenditures.

Founder of Xiaomi Corporation Lei Jun said the tax and fee cuts saved 1.2 billion yuan for his company, all of which was put in research and development.

Chen Yanbin, professor at Renmin University, said expectation management and counter-cycle regulation should be enhanced to send a clear signal to the market.

Large-scale tax and fee cuts are an institutional arrangement rather than a short-term move, Premier Li replied, adding the government will significantly reduce general expenses to gain more room for fee reduction and guarantees of basic livelihood.

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.

Zhong Zhengsheng, director of macroeconomic analysis at CEBM Group, a subsidiary of Caixin Insight Group, said numerous foreign enterprises still regard China as a sought-after destination for investments and businesses and are not eager for industrial transfer, according to the latest survey by the United States Chamber of Commerce.

The bullish sentiment, he believed, relied largely on the country’s better business environment, which helped retain and attract foreign investors and stabilize industrial chains.

Founder of 51job Zhen Ronghui suggested seeking more market-oriented ways that offer enterprises and other social forces greater engagement in occupational education and training. He expressed the hope the government would truly solve the "last mile" problem in relevant policy implementation.

Aside from more foreign capital, improvements in the business environment are also a boost for domestic capital, Premier Li said as the discussions continued. This, he added, means moving the building of a market-oriented businesses environment onto the fast track under the rule of law and international standards, so the vitality of market entities is further spurred.

The government sometimes has yet to relax its grip on the market at the execution level, Premier Li noted.

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

The premier also urged an organic combination of cutting taxes, saving expenditures and streamlining administration while valuing market requirements and business concerns. Reforms of delegating powers and improving regulation and services should continue as well, he added.

Zhen suggested the government increase the support for flexible employment, as it is a rising demand for enterprises and popular choice among more and more young people.

Premier Li said 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 related insurance.

Lei Jun from Xiaomi discussed financing problems facing medium and small enterprises, saying their support is an inseparable part of the growth of large companies. He also said increasing the international competitiveness of made-in-China products depends on the enhancement of hard and soft quality of products.

Financing problems facing small and micro enterprises have been a bottleneck for growth, Premier Li said, and he called for smoothing the transmission mechanism and ameliorating these issues.

Premier Li said China has a huge market with great potential, and called for further exploration of domestic market demands to create bigger development room for manufacturing enterprises.

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