Premier Li Keqiang, who at his end of “two sessions” press conference compared the pain of government self-reform with “taking a knife into one’s own flesh”, said on March 20 that such pains must be endured to limit government and invigorate the market amid economic slowdown.
At least 10,000 new businesses should be opened every day, he said during a visit to the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC), China’s chief government organ responsible for business registration and market supervision.
“To maintain a certain amount of new businesses being open on a daily basis, as well as keeping the vitality of them, are two important measures to drive up the economy,” Li said.
The Chinese economic slowdown has continued into the first quarter of this year with estimated growth of 7 percent annually, after falling to a 24-year-low of 7.4 percent in 2014.
In Li’s first fact-finding visit after the “two sessions”, he said government supervision must adapt to market trends, especially when new industries and new technologies are growing rapidly.
He called on officials to listen to the market and answer their needs. “Our job is to create a favorable environment for the new economic driving engines,” he said.
As part of Li’s self-reform of government, more than 798 administrative procedural items were canceled or delegated to local governments to encourage entrepreneurship last year. About 10,500 new enterprises are being registered every day this year, a spike from the near 7,000 before business system reforms kicked off in March last year, according to statistics provided by the SAIC. Among newly-registered businesses, more than 60 percent are in operation.
Mo Yuchuan, an administrative law professor at Renmin University of China, said Li chose the SAIC as his first trip after the “two sessions” sent a signal that China is to continue self-reform of the government to encourage business and inject vitality into the market.
He said economic growth faces heavy downward pressure and the task of structural adjustments waits for no one. Encouraging entrepreneurship by limiting administrative power can benefit the economy, contributing to restructuring and the creation of jobs.
State Councilor Yang Jing and Wang Yong joined the inspection.