Govt unveils new steps to help small businesses

Updated: Jan 15, 2023 By Ma Si Print
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Quality control staff check button mushrooms at an agricultural products company in Shiyan, Hubei province. [Photo/Xinhua]

China has rolled out a string of new measures to help small and medium-sized enterprises tide over short-term difficulties, as part of its broader push to promote the high-quality development of these firms.

The 15 steps published by the State Council on Saturday offer targeted help for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, or MSMEs, to stabilize growth and improve their competitive edge, experts said.

Part of these measures seek to help MSMEs tide over difficulties through policy support, easier financing and demand expansion, among others, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the nation’s top industry regulator.

In particular, large enterprises and platform institutions are encouraged to release procurement lists targeting MSMEs and carry out cross-border matchmaking activities, in order to create more business opportunities for these enterprises.

Wang Peng, associate professor at the Hillhouse Research Institute at the Renmin University of China, in Beijing, said China's economy will have good momentum if private and small businesses remain sound, given that many of them are increasingly being recognized for their role as leaders for new concepts and new business models.

"But in reality, they tend to become vulnerable to external pressures. Thus, targeted efforts are needed to help them overcome short-term challenges," he added.

In China, SMEs are responsible for nearly 50 percent of the nation's tax revenue and 60 percent of GDP. They also contribute to 70 percent of the nation's technology innovation and 80 percent of urban employment, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

Zhou Hongyi, founder of cybersecurity company 360 Security Group, said it is of great significance to push forward the digital transformation of MSMEs, as they still face mounting pressure and challenges from the shortage of capital, talent and technology.

More efforts are needed to leverage digital technologies to help such enterprises, which play a critical part in narrowing the income gap and bolstering development of the real economy, Zhou said, adding that the company has launched an SaaS — or software as a service — platform and is helping drive the digitalization push of MSMEs.

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