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China vows to make major SOEs more competitive

Updated: May 19,2016 10:12 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — The Chinese government on May 18 underscored the importance of major State-owned enterprises (SOEs), pledging to strengthen their competitiveness to support economic restructuring.

SOEs administered by the central government play a pivotal role in the country’s social and economic development. They should streamline their corporate structures and raise efficiency to become more competitive, according to a statement issued after a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.

“The core business of centrally-owned SOEs is not good enough. Low efficiency and excessive human resources, especially in management teams, still plague those companies,” it said.

The meeting asked the SOEs to cut redundant management by around 20 percent within three years. In two years, they should save on operational costs by at least 100 billion yuan ($15.6 billion).

The SOEs should use market-based approaches in hiring and delivering payrolls, the statement said.

With the economy slowing, China has been looking to its SOEs to boost productivity and promote market-based reforms. The private sector has been welcomed to own stakes in SOEs.