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Official Pledges More Policy, Legal Support for SMEs

A senior official has pledged to help provide a better legal and policy environment to spur the development of the country's small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Ou Xinqian, vice minister of the National Development and Reform Commission, said these businesses would be given easier market access; more financial, technological and human resource support; and better public services.

She said SMEs have been a key engine of the country's economic development and play an irreplaceable role in creating jobs. However, she added that they are still facing hurdles in terms of market access, financing, human resources and management techniques.

"Providing them with legal and policy support is one of the most important policies for the government," she said.

The vice minister made these remarks on Saturday at a forum on the development and international links of China's SMEs, during the 4th China International Small and Medium Enterprises Fair and China-Japan Small and Medium Enterprises Fair. The event opened in Guangzhou on Saturday.

Some 3,296 domestic participants have mingled with 1,800 exhibitors from 27 other countries and regions at the four-day event, which will conclude tomorrow.

Official statistics say there are about 42 million SMEs in China, accounting for more than 99 percent of all of the enterprises in the nation.

They contribute 60 percent of the GDP and about half of the nation's tax revenues, while providing more than 75 percent of urban jobs.

And they have employed more than 80 percent of the workers who have been laid off by State-owned enterprises. They account for 65 percent of the country's patent applications and developed more than 80 percent of the nation's new products.

(China Daily/Xinhua News Agency September 17, 2007)

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