Premier Li Keqiang listens as Tencent founder and CEO Pony Ma (left) talks about his company at the Tencent booth during the launch of the second National Mass Entrepreneurship and Innovation Week on Oct 12 in Shenzhen.[Photo by Wu Zhiyi/China Daily]
Premier Li Keqiang vowed on Oct 12 to further lower the threshold of market access for business startups and innovative companies in a bid to create more jobs.
More than 15,000 companies are registered every day around the nation, but only 70 percent of them are actively operating, Premier Li said while meeting with managers of high-tech companies at the Global Entrepreneurial Leaders Forum in Shenzhen, an industrial hub in Guangdong province.
The government will streamline administrative procedures and further open the market for enterprises, including foreign companies, he added.
He said more than 9 million jobs were created in urban areas during the first nine months of the year, while more than 12 million graduates from colleges and vocational schools were expected to enter the job market this year.
The achievement can be attributed to entrepreneurship and innovation, he added.
Promoting entrepreneurship and innovation will offer college graduates opportunities for fair competition no matter where in the country they come from, Premier Li said.
In May, the Premier made a similar pledge on market access while meeting with foreign companies’ CEOs during the China Big Data Industry Summit in Guiyang, capital of Guizhou province.
The Shenzhen forum was part of the second National Mass Entrepreneurship and Innovation Week, which kicked off on Oct 12.
During the first such event in Beijing last year, Premier Li said grassroots entrepreneurship and innovation can create more job opportunities and become a new engine for China’s development.
Huang Qunhui, director of the Institute of Industrial Economics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said: “Small and medium-sized companies, including business startups, provide the largest number of employment opportunities. That’s why the central government has attached such great importance to entrepreneurship and innovation.”
Among forum participants were celebrities from the internet and manufacturing sectors, including Apple CEO Tim Cook, who also emphasized the significance of innovation and its role in supporting new jobs.
Innovation is crucial to unlocking the growth potential of the Chinese economy as well as the global economy, Cook said, adding that the spirit of entrepreneurship in China is distinctive and strong.
“It’s amazing to think that a small company or even an individual in China can create an innovative app ... and offer their products to over 1 billion iPhone and iPad users around the world,” Cook said.
The country has become an app development powerhouse that supports 1.8 million jobs, including 350,000 new ones in the past 12 months alone, he said, adding that the sector increased 25 percent year-on-year.
More than 400,000 mobile apps at Apple’s App Store were created by Chinese developers for customers around the world, Cook said.