Nation to bolster technology financing

Updated: Jul 28, 2023 By WANG KEJU China Daily Print
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China will establish a sound and sustainable financial services system that better accommodates the financing needs of technology enterprises, and will channel more financial resources into the real economy and areas of innovation, senior officials said on Thursday.

The financial management departments will step up support for key areas involving major national innovations, small and medium-sized enterprises in the high-tech field and commercialization of sci-tech advances, said Zhang Qingsong, deputy governor of the People's Bank of China, the country's central bank, at a news conference.

Financial institutions have been guided to establish designated offices and formulate special assessment mechanisms, so as to guide more credit resources to the areas of innovation. Loans to technology enterprises, therefore, grew at a fast pace, Zhang said.

As at end-June, the outstanding balance of bank loans to high-tech manufacturing industries and high-tech SMEs climbed over 40 percent and 25 percent year-on-year to 2.5 trillion yuan ($349 billion) and 2.36 trillion yuan, respectively, PBOC data showed.

Meanwhile, the outstanding balance of bank loans to businesses that apply special or sophisticated techniques to produce unique and novel products came in at 2.72 trillion yuan, up over 20 percent from a year ago, according to the PBOC.

Thanks to greater financial support, China moved up to 11th place among 132 economies in the 2022 Global Innovation Index, an annual ranking of the world's economies on innovation capacity and output, according to the World Intellectual Property Organization.

That said, policy instruments and financial products to support science and technology still remain modest, said Wu Zhaohui, vice-minister of science and technology, adding that targeted steps will be taken to address relevant issues.

Wu stressed his ministry will work with financial authorities to improve financing guarantee services for high-tech enterprises, especially smaller ones. Insurance companies will be supported to provide products for research and development and commercialization of sci-tech advances.

Localities will be supported to accelerate reforms related to fintech, and experience that would be replicable and scalable will be extended to more regions, Wu said.

Furthermore, government investment funds such as those designed for the commercialization of research outcomes will be better leveraged, to attract more investment from the private sector to areas of key technologies and high-tech startups, he said.

The Science and Technology Innovation Board and the Beijing Stock Exchange will be supported to further optimize the evaluation system for technology enterprises, in order to shore up their financing availability in a targeted manner, he said.

By the end of June, there were 542 companies listed on the Science and Technology Innovation Board, with a total market cap of 6.72 trillion yuan; and 204 companies listed on the Beijing Stock Exchange, with a market cap totaling 266.8 billion yuan, Wu said.

On Thursday, the National Financial Regulatory Administration also pledged stronger financial support to expand domestic demand and strengthen financial backing for key areas and weak links, as part of efforts to fully promote a sustained economic recovery.

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