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Private economy demands pragmatic support
By Jiang Zhuqing (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-03-02 01:32

Promised with strong policy support, entrepreneurs from the non-public or private economy demanded yesterday that the government at all levels adopt pragmatic measures to implement the new policy.

A shareholder raises a question at individual investor's meeting organized by Shanghai-listed China Minsheng Banking Corp. The amendment to the law on incorporating endorses small shareholders' rights to protect their interests. [newsphoto]
"Systematic barriers that impede the further development of the private sector will be broken," said Huang Mengfu, chairman of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, at a forum that marks the issuance of a document to push forward the private economy.

The State Council issued a circular on February 24 proposing a series of policies to boost non-State investment into infrastructure, monopolized industries and public utilities. It also called for more efforts to create a sound environment of law, policy and market for the private sector.

Easy market access into the previously-forbidden fields as well additional financial and taxation support will be given to the private sector thanks to the circular, Huang said.

He noted that the document has made it clear that the federations of industry and commerce at all levels of the country will serve as "an assistant" to the governments.

"It will be a historic breakthrough for the Chinese Government to permit the private sector to enter into industries currently monopolized by the public economy," said Wu Jie, an industry and commerce federation leader from Beijing.

"It will also be good news for private enterprises, as the circular encourages the financial sector to widen financing channels," said Wu, adding that many local stock markets, risk funds and capital markets had refused to provide financial support to the private sector in the past.

Hailing the new document as a great impetus for the private economy, Han Zhenfa, a private entrepreneur from Northeast China's Jilin Province, said the private enterprises should not simply focus their interest onto the preferential policies, but they should also carry out their responsibilities and duties for society as well as for the local people to shake off poverty.

Han said he invested more than 600 million yuan (US$72.3 million) in recent years to help more than 100,000 local farmers breed pigs to escape poverty.

The private sector has become an important driving force for the Chinese economy, said entrepreneurs attending the forum.

Since China's opening-up, the private economy has been growing at a rate several-fold higher than the national economy, they said.

The proportion of the non-public economy in the gross domestic product has exceeded 30 per cent, said Huang, chairman of the federation. The private sector has also become a major channel for employment and re-employment.

Statistics indicate that private enterprises have created 5-6 million new jobs annually since the 1990s, representing three fourths of all newly created jobs in cities and townships.

(China Daily 03/02/2005 page1)

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