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Premier Li Keqiang Meets the Press: Full Transcript of Questions and Answers

China Daily | Updated: 2020-05-30 09:31
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Premier Li Keqiang meets the press after the closing of the third session of the 13th National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, May 28, 2020. Premier Li took questions from Chinese and foreign reporters via video link. [Photo/Xinhua]

Xinhua News Agency: When we talk about the economic work agenda for the Chinese government this year, the words we have heard most frequently are stability and protections. What are their relations with market-oriented reforms? What will be the priorities of reform this year?

Premier Li: Our experience in the past 40-plus years of reform and opening-up shows that the greater difficulty we face, the more important it is for us to keep to reform. In our macro policies, we outlined sets of priority areas where stability is key and where protections are needed. Our measures are designed to help those vast numbers of market entities and are built around addressing their difficulties and concerns. This in itself is consistent with our market-oriented reform.

First and foremost, we must help all our businesses survive. Our solid measures must serve to provide vital relief to businesses and revitalize the market. Hence, all these measures must deliver real gains to companies and support self-employed individuals. As I said in the Government Work Report, we must do our utmost to help the 120 million market entities in China sustain themselves, and that will help us assure success for the future.

At the same time we must work hard to help our businesses thrive by pressing ahead with reform of government functions. We will continue to foster a market-oriented and world-class business environment governed by a sound legal framework. The government must lift all unnecessary restrictions on market entities to facilitate fair competition. Such policies and measures, intangible as they are, will create tangible wealth in our businesses just like real investments.

Furthermore, we must work hard to help more new market entities emerge. We have seen a trend-bucking surge of growth in new forms of business and industry during the COVID-19 response, including online shopping, express delivery services, and teleworking. Some new forms of business have even seen their revenues increase by two thirds. I believe such developments are very much attributable to our initiatives and reforms in recent years, including the supply-side structural reform, our efforts to promote high-quality development and foster new drivers of growth, and our initiative of encouraging business start-ups and innovation. We must use the experience gained in this process to the fullest extent to foster more growth drivers and help more market entities grow. This year, our goal is to see that the number of newly registered businesses stay at about 20,000 on an average day. And that figure has become an important indicator gauging the economic vitality of China.

We pay close attention to these smaller firms, but we also highly value the role of big companies. We hope that companies of all sizes will be able to thrive together through close cooperation and collaboration. We also expect that more smaller firms will one day grow into large companies. This year,we must ensure full delivery of all these relief and support measures, and at the same time work for notable improvement in China's business environment. These measures, when combined, will produce multiplying effects.

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