2020-01-23 10:04:34 source: Ecns (Gu Liping)
The automatic welding line of a manufacturing base of Geely Auto in Ningbo, east China's Zhejiang Province, Jan. 22, 2020. (Xinhua/Huang Zongzhi)
East China's Zhejiang Province, an economic powerhouse renowned for its thriving private sector, has adopted the first provincial-level regulation in the country on promoting the private economy.
The regulation, which will take effect on Feb. 1, will ensure private enterprises in Zhejiang can compete on a more level playing field and thus increase the confidence of private entrepreneurs in expanding their businesses.
EQUAL MARKET ACCESS, FINANCING
The new regulation, adopted earlier this month by the provincial legislature, makes specific requirements for equal market access, a fair financing environment, policy efficiency and other issues that private enterprises are highly concerned about.
It stipulates equal access of private firms to industries and businesses which are not on the negative list according to the law and bans discrimination because of different forms of ownership in this regard.
The provincial rule encourages private companies to participate in the mixed-ownership reform of state-owned enterprises. It asks financing institutions to provide unified loan requirements and interest rates.
Administration organs should guarantee private enterprises have equal access to policies encouraging innovation and the transfer and promotion of scientific achievements at the national and provincial levels, it says.
Since the reform and opening up in 1978, the private sector has grown into the major pillar of Zhejiang's economy.
By the end of 2018, there were 6.27 million private market entities in Zhejiang, accounting for 95.9 percent of the total in the coastal province. In 2018, the private sector generated 65.5 percent of the province's GDP and accounted for 78 percent of exports in Zhejiang, according to the provincial bureau of statistics.
Private enterprises are facing rising pressure as external uncertainties have made it difficult for many small- and medium-sized export-oriented enterprises to make a profit.
"The regulation further sends a strong signal that the government supports the development of the private sector," said Cai Farong, Party secretary of Kangnai Group Co., Ltd., a leading domestic shoemaking company based in Wenzhou.
"The private sector is Zhejiang's greatest feature, advantage, and resource. Private enterprises are the main force behind Zhejiang's economic development," said Li Weining, vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the Zhejiang Provincial People's Congress.
With a slew of support measures such as cutting taxes and fees, the added value and exports of the province's private sector increased by 9 percent and 10 percent respectively year on year in 2019.
In 2020, Zhejiang will create a better environment for the development of private enterprises, continue to consolidate and expand the effectiveness of tax and fee reductions, and implement new measures to reduce costs of companies, according to Yuan Jiajun, governor of Zhejiang.
"The continuous optimization of the business environment enables us entrepreneurs to focus more on our main business," said Wang Dawu, chairman of Fuda Alloy Materials Co., Ltd. in Wenzhou City.
"This year, we will strengthen our smart transformation efforts and improve production efficiency so as to demonstrate the vitality and resilience of the private economy in the face of difficulties and challenges," Wang said.