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Premier: Sharp turn in policy to be avoided

Updated: Apr 12,2021 21:51 PM

With regard to sustainability of economic growth, current situations and a long term view should be taken into account to keep China's economy stable with good prospects, Premier Li Keqiang said on April 9 during a symposium with experts and entrepreneurs.

An analysis and study of the current economic situation was made, and opinions and suggestions sought for follow-up work. Premier Li said he appreciated the advice put forward by those who attended the symposium, before urging related departments to make a careful study of those suggestions.

"Voices from all walks of life should be heard, so that policy making and implementation can be more targeted and more efficient," he said.

Economic upturn

According to them, measures on tax and fee cuts proved beneficial and effective. As a result, the whole economy, and production and management of enterprises keep recovering, but the big price rise in major international commodities is adding pressure for cost increases. Suggestions were made on several issues, including stabilizing economic operation, the development of small and micro enterprises, and import and export trade, as well as tourism progress.

This year, with good implementation of decisions by the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council, and excellent performance by market entities, the economy continues recovering, reinforcing, and improving steadily, Premier Li said.

"The relatively low base of the same period last year is non-comparable and complicated and severe international circumstances are bringing new uncertainties, and the domestic economy is not recovering in a balanced manner," he said, stressing the economic situation should be studied comprehensively and objectively.

"It is necessary to look at growth rates year-on-year and those on a monthly or quarterly basis to consider both macro economic data and concerns of market entities, and to keep an eye on new circumstances and the overall trend of economic operation," the Premier said.

The COVID-19 epidemic last year caused unprecedented impact on our economy, he said, adding that the macro policies were put in place in a timely and decisive manner, yet not all tools have been used.

"Some people said that the scale of policies was a bit small. However, looking back from now, the policies were accurate. Employment and people’s livelihoods were safeguarded through stabilizing market entities, so the economic fundamentals have stayed stable, and the annual economic growth remained positive."

The Premier asked related departments to continue with regular COVID-19 prevention and control measures while giving consideration to longer terms. Policy adjustments should be consistent to guide rational market expectations.

"We must stay confident, and face difficulties and cope with them," the Premier said, adding that, “we must work hard for our responsibilities, contribute to the world economy by keeping the stable growth of China’s economy.”

Employment highlighted

"Authorities should track and analyze fluctuations in domestic and international trends, conduct scientific and accurate implementation of macro regulations, stick to targeted tax reduction policies and keep up with policies that secure employment, people's livelihood, and market entities," Premier Li said.

He pressed for efforts to help market entities regain vitality and gather momentum by putting in place measures that support small and micro enterprises and the self-employed, and by making full use of policies, such as raising the ratio of extra tax deductions on manufacturing firms’ R&D costs to facilitate their innovation and upgrade.

Further efforts should be made to strengthen financial services for market entities, especially small and micro-sized enterprises, and the self-employed, to navigate more capital flow into the real economy and effectively defuse risks, he added.

Noting the real estate market calls for stable and healthy development, he said market adjustments should play a bigger role in raw materials to ease enterprises' cost burden.

According to the Premier, marketized and socialized measures should be adopted to expand job-hunting channels for key groups, such as college graduates, and flexible employment should be boosted to guarantee full employment and an increase in residents' income.

"As the basis of stabilizing economic fundamentals, safeguarding employment should stay high on the agenda," he said.

High-quality development

"Market entities played a big role in supporting positive economic growth and realizing employment targets last year," Premier Li said. "Reform and opening-up will be continued this year, with improvement in the business environment, to further stimulate market entities."

Reform to delegate power, streamline administration and optimize government services should be advanced, Premier Li said, adding unreasonable constraints that hinder enterprises' development should be removed, impartial supervision and regulation adopted to promote fair competition, administrative services enhanced to meet enterprises' expectations and more market entities cultivated with higher vitality.

He asked the government to expand opening-up, stabilize foreign trade and investment, keep a basically stable RMB exchange rate at an appropriate and balanced level, and uphold stable and secured industrial and supply chains.

"We have confidence in this year's economic development," Premier Li said. "We pulled through difficulties last year, and this year we must strive to accomplish economic and social development targets and promote high-quality development, to lay the foundation for long-term progress."