Li urges small busi­nesses to cre­ate more jobs

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - TOP NEWS - By HU YONGQI huy­ongqi@chi­

Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang called on small pri­vate busi­ness own­ers to build their brands and con­trib­ute to em­ploy­ment and the na­tional econ­omy at a cer­e­mony on Monday.

At the event, mark­ing the 30th an­niver­sary of the China Pri­vately Owned Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion, the pre­mier met with more than 200 rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the group. Among them was Zhang Huamei, a 56-year-old woman who in 1980 ob­tained China’s first per­mit to open a small pri­vate busi­ness.

Such busi­nesses now pro­vide 40 per­cent of the coun­try’s jobs and have played a vi­tal role in boost­ing eco­nomic growth, vi­tal­iz­ing the mar­ket and meet­ing the public’s di­ver­si­fied de­mands, the pre­mier said.

“Pri­vate busi­nesses should op­er­ate with in­tegrity and build their own brands to win mar­ket recog­ni­tion, and, mean­while, avoid coun­ter­feit and fake prod­ucts,” Li said.

The gov­ern­ment will fur- ther stream­line ad­min­is­tra­tive pro­cesses and strengthen public ser­vices to pro­tect their rights and le­gal prop­erty, he said.

An­a­lysts said Li’s high-pro­file speech at the cer­e­mony is an in­di­ca­tion of the im­por­tance the cen­tral gov­ern­ment at­taches to this group of busi­ness own­ers, whose num­ber has grown about thir­ty­fold over the years to more than 300 mil­lion.

China is aim­ing for medium to high speed eco­nomic growth, re­quir­ing the par­tic­i­pa­tion and sup­port of mil­lions of mar­ket en­ti­ties, Li said. Pri­vate busi­ness own­ers, he added, should ac­cu­rately survey mar­ket op­por­tu­ni­ties to cre­ate goods in or­der to meet new de­mands and cre­ate more jobs.

According to the Min­istry of Hu­man Re­sources and So­cial Se­cu­rity, 10.67 mil­lion new jobs were cre­ated in the first nine months of the year, three months in ad­vance of the 10-mil­lion-job an­nual goal the pre­mier set in his Gov­ern­ment Work Re­port in March. Ob­servers said that achieve­ment could be largely at­tribut- ed to small pri­vate busi­nesses.

Li has re­peat­edly talked about the im­por­tance of steady em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties as China’s econ­omy faces down­ward pressure amid slug­gish world trade. Ex­port and in­vest­ment, which have been eco­nomic driv­ers for decades, are slow­ing or even shrink­ing, so pri­vate cap­i­tal and busi­nesses are get­ting more sig­nif­i­cant in the na­tional econ­omy.

The pri­vate sec­tor, small busi­nesses in par­tic­u­lar, has helped in­crease em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties and en­sure China achieves its an­nual eco­nomic growth tar­get, said Ma Baocheng, di­rec­tor of the De­ci­sion-Mak­ing and Con­sul­ta­tion De­part­ment at the Chi­nese Academy of Gover­nance.

Fac­ing flag­ging global de­mand, China’s exports de­clined and pri­vate in­vest­ment growth has also slowed over the past few months. To fur­ther stim­u­late pri­vate busi­ness own­ers’ en­thu­si­asm, the cen­tral gov­ern­ment has worked to sim­plify ad­min­is­tra­tion and ex­pand the re­form of gov­ern­ment ser­vices, Ma said.

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