Premier Li Keqiang cited an example of local innovation and entrepreneurship in his opening address to the annual meeting of the New Champions, also known as the Summer Davos Forum, in the northeast port city of Dalian.
“Yesterday, after I arrived, I visited a maker space in Dalian,” the Premier said.
“The company, which employs only ten people, has built an impressive business in just two years,” he told nearly one thousand business leaders and experts in attendance.
This is the second time that the Premier visited a maker space. In January he visited the Chaihuo Maker Space in Shenzhen and saw first hand the creative products made by the young makers.
In a written reply to students from Tsinghua University in China’s Youth Day in May, Li called on young entrepreneurs to nurture their pioneering spirit and facilitate innovative and entrepreneurial progress.
If one follows the footprints of the Premier’s inspection tours, it is obvious he attaches importance to entrepreneurship and innovation.
It tops his agendas regardless of where he visits, be it college or a ministry.
In fact, the first mention by the Premier in promoting “mass entrepreneurship and innovation” came in the Summer Davos Forum held in Tianjin last year.
It was the first time that the Premier talked about its long-term vision for the development of Chinese economy.
“As the saying goes, great vision makes a country prosper is but the result of collective wisdom,” he said in a speech.
One year later, he mentioned “mass entrepreneurship and innovation” on the same occasion.
“Despite the moderation in speed, the performance of the Chinese economy is stable and moving in a positive direction. Although difficulties remain, there are more opportunities than challenges. People’s creativity and entrepreneurial passion has given us confidence to overcome the challenges. We are capable of meeting the main goals and tasks set for economic and social development this year, and this will lay a solid foundation for sustainable growth in the years to come,” he said in Dalian.
Makers as the new champions
“I’m very excited,” Yu Yue, founder of Dalian maker space told people.cn.
Yu, 37, never expected that the Premier would first mention makers on such an important occasion.
The Premier stayed about half an hour at the maker space, which has attracted 280,000 registered users through the Internet, as China’s most active forum for electronic engineers.
“I told the Premier that the maker space pools developers and source projects together through the Internet, to form an online think tank. Then, we organize activities in the offline maker space and bring about “Internet Plus”projects, so that the participants can create value,” Yu said.
According to Yu, the Internet matched the idle machine tools and unemployed technical staff in northeast China with strong demand in southern China, thus reinvigorating economic development in northeast China.
The Premier said those who create are like “new champions”.
“In fact, one could find tens of thousands of small companies like this in China, whose creativity is beyond our imagination. Whether they succeed in the end, they are all like the new champions. Through them, people see the future of our economy, and I believe they are all part of the new blueprint for growth in China and beyond.”
Faced with downward pressure, how can the $10-trillion economy move forward? The answer offered by the Premier is through “mass entrepreneurship and innovation”.
As he has put it, measures to streamline administration, delegate government power and reform the business system have enabled new businesses to get started. Over the past 18 months, over 10,000 new businesses have been registered on a daily basis in China, and the momentum is still growing, creating jobs in the process.
Wisdom comes from the people
“We are very excited at the Premier’s mention of makers at the forum. We’ve recorded his words, which is the best encouragement,” said another maker in Dalian.
During the forum, the Premier fully explained the significance of “mass entrepreneurship and innovation” for economic and social development.
According to Li, mass entrepreneurship and innovation is a strong power-driving development, it means more employment, it gives impetus to developing a sharing economy, it will help put in place a more equitable distribution pattern, and it is effective in promoting social justice.
He also said that mass entrepreneurship and innovation requires a comprehensive and accessible supply of public goods and services, which relies on structural reform.
In order to do so, the government should encourage the participation of private capital and foreign investment, instead of acting on its own, Li said.
When the Premier visited the makers space, some makers were giving a roadshow of their product ideas to potential investors, some of whom come from abroad.
He told the makers that China’s entrepreneurship and innovation is open, encouraging them to attract more companies from foreign countries and realize win-win cooperation with the capital, technologies and talent they have brought.
Before he left, Li told the young makers that wisdom comes from the people.
The government and society has provided the “soil” for your growth, we hope that you could, together with more entrepreneurs, grow into an endless expanse of “forest”, Li said.