Nationwide economic survey gets under way
Nearly 50,000 surveyors yesterday started a door-to-door inquiry of companies and individuals involved in industries and services throughout Beijing, beginning the nation's first nationwide economic survey.
Other provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions will start the survey in the latter half of August or in September, according to representatives of the National Bureau of Statistics.
The Beijing investigation will cover registration, data processing and reporting, according to Cui Shuqiang, director of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Statistics.
Also surveyors will attempt to account for previously unreported companies and individuals.
Cui, who also serves as office director of the Beijing economic survey, said yesterday that the investigation will be completed by the end of August in the capital city.
On Maliandao Street in southern Beijing, which is famous for the sale of tea, the Beijing Gengxiang Tea Company yesterday was examined by two surveyors.
Zhu Lili, manager of the company, said although the examination went smoothly, she initially had concerns about it.
"I first thought I would have to divulge my commercial secrets to the public," she said yesterday.
"But later through communications with the local government, I found that the survey is not that bad," Zhu said.
Surveyors in Beijing have vowed to maintain absolute secrecy about all commercial information they receive through the investigation.
"I finally realized the importance of the overall economic survey, which was conducted for the first time since 1949," she said.
"Enterprises will have better business opportunities only when the country develops well," Zhu said.
With working experience as an accountant, surveyor Zhang Jieping participated in the investigation of Zhu's company and serves as director of the Wanzi Street residential area in southern Beijing.
"I will definitely keep silent about the information received through the survey according to the letter of the law," she said.
Lin Xianyu, vice-director of the National Bureau of Statistics, said yesterday that Beijing has done a good job organizing the survey.
"A favourable environment has been created in Beijing for the survey," Lin, also office director of the national leading group of the first nationwide economic survey by the State Council, said yesterday.
But the official pointed out that there are still some problems in the current examination.
"First of all, it is not easy to unite the efforts of various departments, including statistics, industry and commerce, taxation and other departments," he said.
"Secondly, some individuals engaged in small-scale businesses still have misgivings about providing real commercial figures," Lin said.
China's first ever nationwide economic survey aims to promote the comprehensive reform of the national economy accounting and statistical survey system.
It will consolidate a variety of different surveys, including the second nationwide service sector survey, which was initially intended for completion in 2003, the fourth nationwide industrial survey that was planned for 2005 and the third basic unit survey which was planned for 2006.
The result of the survey, which is expected to end at the end of next year, will provide statistics to aid in the country's continuous five-year plan, sources said.