Business / Economy

Private firms able to play a bigger role

By ZHENG YANGPENG/LI XIAOKUN (China Daily) Updated: 2014-07-15 07:00

Premier Li says govt will cut more red tape

Premier Li Keqiang vowed on Monday to broaden private firms' market access and cut redundant administrative approvals amid "persistent downward pressure".

"We will further open the door for private capital. We will give private firms more investment options and a bigger stage on which the creativity of all 1.3 billion Chinese people can be fully unleashed," Li told a group of executives from State-owned and private enterprises.

The seminar is an opportunity for China's corporate leaders to present their challenges and demands, and for top leaders to get a better understanding of how the economy runs at a micro-level before key economic data for the second quarter is released on Wednesday.

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Leaders of companies-including China General Technology (Group) Holding, China State Construction Engineering Corporation, Bank of Communications, Gree Electric Appliances, East Hope Group and current challenges including weak economic growth and rising costs.

Li urged various levels of government to publish a list of regulations to clarify what authorities can and cannot do.

After eliminating or delegating 416 administrative approval items last year, the government promised to further cut or delegate 200 more this year.

Li said the government will curb and reduce surging borrowing costs, a phenomenon that has inhibited companies, especially small and micro enterprises.

The government will also boost full competition and create an environment for fair competition, including limiting common practices such as subsidies to certain industries and companies, Li said.

China is preparing a list of State-owned enterprises that will undergo a pilot project for mixed-ownership, part of a reform program that will give private firms access to areas previously dominated by SOEs.

The premier said the economy is running within a "reasonable" range and the market outlook has turned for the better, though downward pressure remained.

"We have to have a sober mind that the downward risks will remain for quite a long period," Li said. Most financial institutions have estimated China's growth in the second quarter has stabilized after a weak first quarter, which means the economy would probably expand 7.4 or 7.5 percent in the second quarter.

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