China to give further support to small, micro-sized firms

Updated: 2012-02-02 10:09


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BEIJING - China's State Council, or the Cabinet, on Wednesday called for more efforts to support the sound development of small and micro-sized enterprises.

"Small and micro-sized firms serve as a significant channel for creating jobs, a major platform for the growth of entrepreneurship, and an important force of scientific innovation," according to a statement released Wednesday after a State Council executive meeting presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao.

Further supports for small and micro enterprises are crucial as they are still facing great operating pressures, rising costs and financing difficulties, the statement said.

China's central government will earmark 15 billion yuan ($2.38 billion) to establish a development fund for small and medium-sized enterprises, particularly focusing on newly-formed ones.

The country will strive to relieve the financing difficulty of those small companies, the statement said.

It will establish an evaluation system to provide incentives for commercial banks offering credit to small firms, and support qualified banks to issue financial bonds to get funds to lend to those firms.

The development of small financial institutions will be accelerated, and the country will relax restrictions on the usage of private capital, foreign capital and funds from international organizations in setting up small financial institutions.

The country is also going to support small and micro-sized firms to seek financing by becoming listed on the stock market, the statement said.

"The central government will expand the fund for technology upgrading and give its priority on supporting small and micro-sized firms to apply new technologies, new techniques and equipment," it said.

The government will encourage the opening of small enterprises by supporting 3,000 bases for incubating small business.

China will also improve services for small companies by establishing 4,000 public service platforms for those firms, according to the statement.

The statement also said that China will faithfully implement financial and fiscal policies made in October 2011 by the State Council to help the country's cash-strapped small enterprises.

Those policies include raising the tax threshold for small firms paying corporate value-added taxes and business taxes, extending the policy of halved business income tax for small firms with low profits to 2015, forgiving banks' stamp tax on lending contracts with small firms for three years.

The State Council also required that banks should increase credit support for small businesses, while lending to small and micro-sized firms should grow at a rate no lower than the average loan growth of the country's banks.

Small financial institutions that meet the loan growth target for small businesses will be subjected to lower required reserve requirements than that for major banks, according to the State Council.

Small- and medium-sized enterprises create about 80 percent of the country's jobs, but they usually have difficulty in securing bank loans, as Chinese banks prefer to lend to larger companies, especially state-owned enterprises.