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China advocates entrepreneurial spirit to boost innovation

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-09-26 09:15

BEIJING — China's latest guideline on encouraging entrepreneurial spirit and creating a favorable environment for entrepreneurship is expected to give a boost to the country's innovation-driven development.

The guideline, the first of its kind that focused on entrepreneurial spirit, was released on Monday by the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council in a move to spur market vitality.

The government looks to the entrepreneurial spirit, which includes hard work, pursuing excellence, craftsmanship and innovation, serving society, to stimulate mass innovation and create a positive climate for enterprises, said the guideline.

The guideline stressed that the government will protect the legal rights and interests of entrepreneurs, ensure fair competition and strengthen protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) to encourage innovation.

It will also work on rules to protect the IPR of innovative achievements such as new business models and cultural creativity.

A negative list management program will be rolled out nationwide to ensure fair access to industries and businesses that are not off-limits for market entities, according to the guideline.

The guideline stated that the government will fight against monopolies, unfair competition practices and regional protectionism, and remove regulations that undermine fair competition.

"The guideline signals the central government's recognition of entrepreneurs in China, restores confidence of enterprises and gives a long-lasting boost to mass innovation and entrepreneurship," said Lu Guanqiu, founder and chairman of Wanxiang Group.

Haier chairman Zhang Ruimin echoed that, noting that "the guideline provides all-round support for entrepreneurs to focus on quality and sustain innovation-driven development without extra worries."

Over the past five years, China has made big strides encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship.

Through a simpler approval process, lower corporate fees and technology-based services, the government is transforming its functions to let the market play a larger role in the economy.

Latest data showed that in the first eight months of this year, 16,000 new companies were registered every day on average, compared with only 6,900 more than three years ago, when business registration reforms were initiated.

According to a report released by the World Bank, China's ranking in terms of the ease of doing business has moved up eight spots every year from 2013 to 2016, while the country's ranking for the ease of starting businesses climbed 31 places during the period.

"The entrepreneurial spirit is always the driving force to promote China's supply-side structural reform," said renowned Chinese economist Li Yining.

Boosting entrepreneurial spirit is necessary for deepening supply-side structural reform and accelerating the shift from old growth drivers to new ones as well as achieving innovation of science and technology, management and systems, said Li.

Indeed, China is moving toward an economy focused on consumer spending, innovation and services, reducing reliance on investment and exports of low value-added goods, and boosted by strengthened innovation and research.

In the future, China will introduce a number of reform measures to create a better environment for innovation and development, according to a decision at a State Council executive meeting last month.

"We must give full play to the role of innovation in spurring entrepreneurship and employment, and speed up the transformation of innovation into real productivity," said Premier Li Keqiang, who chaired the meeting.

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