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Guangdong Issues Policies to Encourage Start-up Businesses

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Labor authorities in southeast China's Guangdong Province have issued a series of policies to help graduates, returning overseas students, retired soldiers and farmers start their own businesses.

Under a notice issued by the province's labor and social security department on Thursday, start-up companies founded by retired soldiers and graduates will be exempt from administrative fees for three years, Friday's China Daily reported.

Tax breaks will also be given to those returning from studying overseas, the notice said, while farmers who quit cities to return to their hometowns will get technical support.

"It is all to create more jobs for people in all walks of life," Zhang Xiang, a publicity official for the provincial labor authority, was quoted as saying.

According to the notice, small assured loans will be increased to 50,000 yuan (7,300 U.S. dollars) for entrepreneurs in Guangdong. The government will also offer tax relief to small enterprises taking on previously laid-off workers.

Improving opportunities for graduates has been among the hot topics at the ongoing meeting of Guangdong provincial committee of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

But only through starting their own businesses can more jobs be provided, Chen Dong, deputy secretary of the Guangdong provincial committee of the Communist Youth League, said.

According to a survey by the committee last year, only 1 percent of graduates in Guangdong started their own businesses after graduation.

As of January, only 2.2 percent of its 330,000 students graduating this summer have jobs, Xu Zhenhua, president of Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, said.

(Xinhua News Agency February 13, 2009)