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Private firms crucial for employment
By Xiao Ma (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-12-14 06:20

A top Chinese political advisor said yesterday the 4.3 million private enterprises on the Chinese mainland have made "great contribution" to the country's employment and social stability.

Huang Mengfu, vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference the top political advisory body, said these private firms, which employ more than 100 million people, are working side-by-side with the 25 million individual businesses.

"What we need to do now is guarantee the workers' livelihoods in full and respect their human dignity besides offering them jobs," said Huang during an inspection tour to some private firms in East China's Zhejiang Province.

By 2004, 50.5 percent of the private enterprises set up trade unions to help guard the interests and rights of the workers, he said.

Huang also chairman of the All-China Federation Of Industry and Commerce, which directs the running of private economy said the private economy on the Chinese mainland faces "a golden period" to develop, as private economy is becoming a major part in the gross domestic product (GDP).

Domestic private economy now accounts for 49.7 percent of GDP on the mainland, while foreign-funded enterprises and businesses invested by China's Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan businesspersons make up about 15 percent so far this year, he said.

Five years ago, he said, the percentage was 42.8 percent and 12.6 percent respectively.

As a major source of economic growth on the mainland, he noted, private enterprises are expected to bring in an industrial volume of more than 1 trillion yuan (US$123.3 billion) in added value this year seven times the figure five years ago.

"Our focus now is to help lead private enterprises to develop in a manner centred on people," Huang said. He affirmed that further advancement of private firms relies mainly on upgrading workers' quality. Huang said private firms should not default on the workers' wages.

In addition to boosting employment, some 16,500 private businesspersons have invested 80 billion yuan (US$9.9 billon) in 12,000 projects to specially help the poor, and donated 9.7 billon yuan (US$1.2 billion) to poverty-hit people, he said.

(China Daily 12/14/2005 page2)

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