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China to encourage private investment in social sectors

Zhang Yue
Updated: Feb 23,2017 9:29 PM     english.gov.cn

China plans to widen market access for medical care, education, elderly care, culture, sports and other social undertakings.

An array of new policies will soon be issued to enable a bigger role for private investment in the social sectors. The measures were approved on Feb 22 at the State Council’s executive meeting, chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.

The year 2016 saw China’s continuing efforts in boosting private investment. The new regulation is the latest push to channel investments to particular sectors where new economic drivers are burgeoning.

More private investment in education, medical care, sports, culture and entertainment sectors will greatly diversify service supplies, which is also part of the country’s supply-side economic reform.

“China’s economic and social development are still progressing unevenly, with weak links mainly in areas like the service sector. It is necessary to boost development from the supply side in order to meet growing public demand,” Premier Li said.

He stressed the country still has huge potential in investment in the social sector.

A set of support policies will come out to boost investment in the social sector, which was decided at the meeting.

Private investors will be encouraged to work with the government in areas of medical care, nursing homes for the elderly, education, culture and sports, with corresponding administrative services being streamlined.

Public Private Partnerships (PPP) will be widely encouraged. The government also encourages setting up investment funds based on private investment.

Financing channels will also be provided to help micro and small businesses to invest in these sectors. The government also calls for stronger IPR protection as well as a more comprehensive risk-control system compatible with great openness. Favorable policies in land use and relaxed taxation for private investors will be put in place.

Internet Plus will be widely applied in medical care, nursing homes and tourism to balance information sharing and credit rating.

Premier Li stressed that non-essential services, which are still heavily supervised, need to be open to private investment.

He said that the government should attain a better balance between power delegation and regulation with an open mind. Thresholds may be lowered, but the market should still function in an orderly manner.

“Areas with most pressing demand and under most focused attention should be prioritized to deliver tangible results,” Premier Li said.

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