More policy support for businesses' R&D
Updated: March 12, 2021 08:49 China Daily

China will step up efforts to spur innovation as it builds the new development paradigm in the coming five years, bringing sustained growth momentum to its economy and great opportunities to foreign businesses, officials and experts said on March 11.

Companies are the most important force in making innovations, Premier Li Keqiang said on March 11.

The country will roll out more policy support to motivate businesses to engage in research and development during the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) period, Premier Li said, adding that China has decided to raise the extra tax deduction on the R&D expenses of manufacturing enterprises.

The Premier made the remarks at a news conference after the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, adopted the Outline of the 14th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development and the Long-Range Objectives Through the Year 2035 and closed its annual session on March 11.

The plan says the country will uphold the central role that innovation plays in modernization in the coming five years, and step up efforts to build the new development pattern, with domestic circulation as the mainstay and domestic and international circulations supporting each other.

Specifically, the country will work to make sure that R&D spending nationwide will increase by more than 7 percent a year and accelerate the modernization of the industrial system in the 14th Five-Year Plan period, according to the outline.

Zhang Yansheng, chief researcher at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, said China's 14th Five-Year Plan will lead the country to a new stage of high-quality and innovation-driven development.

"Under the new development pattern, technological innovation will become a key driving force to boost future development and help the country gain a key competitive edge in the global market," Zhang said.

To foster innovation-driven development in the next five years, Zhang said, China will also need to conduct deeper global cooperation and participate in international circulation at higher levels.

Premier Li told the news conference that China will seek to promote international cooperation among global scientists while strengthening itself in science and technology.

"Isolation will lead nowhere and severance of industrial or supply chains will do no one good," he said. "Based on protecting intellectual property, China is ready to enhance cooperation with all other countries in science and technology to jointly promote the progress of human civilization."

The Premier further said that China's pursuit of the new development paradigm does not mean China will shut its door to the rest of the world, but instead will boost the domestic market and open the market wider as well.

This will not only be in the interests of China itself, but represent great opportunities for foreign products, services and investment, Premier Li said.

As the country strives for innovation-driven growth and expanded international cooperation in the 14th Five-Year Plan period, foreign companies will see more opportunities in riding China's digital transformation, business leaders said.

For instance, German specialty chemicals firm Covestro sees growth potential rising in the next five years, fueled by China's new blueprint, saying it will continue to invest in China and boost innovation in the local market.

"Under the new development pattern, China is entering a new stage of high-quality and innovation-driven development aided by domestic demand expansion, development of strategic emerging industries and the digital economy," said Holly Lei, president of Covestro China.

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