China is to take strong measures to further unlock business potential in the private sector and encourage private investment.
This vow was made at a State Council executive meeting on June 22, chaired by Premier Li Keqiang, after he was briefed on a report resulting from extensive inquiries about private investment nationwide.
The Premier also urged governments at all levels to heed problems revealed during the inquiries, especially private companies’ difficulties in obtaining financing, and excessive administrative charges.
A month ago, the State Council launched a nationwide fact-finding mission, covering 30 provinces and regions. An independent evaluation of the results was carried out by the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce and other research institutions.
The inquiry covered 500 enterprises and involved more than 10,000 surveys on private investment policies.
Major factors leading to slowing growth in private investment include ongoing efforts to reduce excess capacity, insufficient policy implementation and difficulty in obtaining financing for small private companies at the local level.
He said private investment is critically important for China to maintain stable economic growth, job security and economic structural reform.
In November 2014, the State Council published 39 policies to support private investment. However, these policies encountered setbacks at lower levels and suffered from a lack of consistency, the inquiries found.
Some private entrepreneurs complain that although the government has done much to ease institutional barriers obstructing them in recent years, they are still far from being treated equally with State-owned enterprises and are sometimes denied market access. These companies are calling for more transparency.
High costs and difficulty in obtaining finance are also key culprits in restricting private investment growth.
Huang Qunhui, director of the Institute of Industrial Economics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said financial institutions must treat private enterprises and SOEs equally in granting loans and on the charges for loans.