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SMEs in S China to Get Financial Aid

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Authorities of south China's Guangdong Province approved a financial plan on Friday to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to survive the global financial crisis.

The provincial government will inject more than 10 billion yuan(US$1.45 billion) as of next year in loan granting, tax reduction, business transformation and upgrading, and improving government services to SMEs, which are facing "unprecedented business difficulties and challenges", Wang Yang, Guangdong's party chief, said at a working conference on SMEs.

The fund includes 1 billion yuan for technological innovation, 1 billion yuan as government mortgage for bank loans, and 200 million yuan to expand export, according to the plan. Other details are yet to be announced.

The initiative will be a key part of the province's planned measures next year to allocate more investment to support SMEs development in the hard times, Huang Huahua, governor of Guangdong, said at the meeting.

The province had decided to earmark at least 8.5 billion yuan for business transformation of SMEs between 2009-2010, two years earlier than the original schedule.

The deepening global economic downturn has affected Guangdong, a famous home of labor-intensive and export-oriented companies, as demand of foreign buyers has continued to decline. However, many enterprises suffering shrinking orders or business suspension, predicted the hardest time may come next year.

The central government of China is revising policies and hopes to stimulate domestic demand to keep the national economy stable.

(Xinhua News agency December 5, 2008)