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China to further reform to drive innovation

Xu Wei
Updated: Aug 30,2017 8:25 PM

China will step up reform to support innovation by removing barriers to entrepreneurship and innovation.

The decision was made at a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Aug 30.

The meeting decided that the government will roll out a host of reform measures that have been piloted in eight areas, including the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, Shanghai and the Pearl River Delta, since June 2016.

Eligible foreign students with academic background equal to or above master’s degree could apply for work permit or work-related residence permit. The one-stop application and issuance of work permits for foreign experts will also be made available nationwide.

The meeting also decided to pilot a program in the eight areas that allows foreign expats to apply for permanent residence if their income, tax payment and duration of work in China meet a certain standard.

Chinese leaders have repeatedly stressed the importance of innovation-driven development strategy.

President Xi Jinping said a systematic, comprehensive and coordinated reform should be piloted with innovation-driven development as the target, innovation in science and technology at the core and the removal of systematic and institutional barriers as the main focus of efforts.

Premier Li called for major progress in systematic and institutional innovation, with focus on breaking the fragmentation in innovation resources allocation.

“We must give full play to the role of innovation in spurring entrepreneurship and employment, and speed up the transformation of innovation into real productivity,” he said.

The meeting on Aug 30 decided to enhance support for the innovation of SMEs and micro enterprises with more targeted measures. One-stop investment and financing information service for SMEs and the pledge for patent rights associated with loans, insurance and risk compensation from finance will be made available nationwide.

The protection of intellectual property rights will be taken to further heights, with measures to better safeguard the legitimate rights of innovators and safeguard their legitimate earnings set to be promoted nationwide.

The measures include one-stop services for patent examination, rights protection and verification, innovation-oriented evaluation and incentive plan within State-owned enterprises, and flexible remuneration in colleges and research institutes to attract high-caliber talent and urgently needed talent.

“We need to create a good environment for innovation, which can also provide lasting support to the buoyant momentum of the economy. Innovation-driven development relies on adjustments in industry and product structure and transformations in the model of development,” Premier Li said.

The meeting on Aug 30 also called for local offices of the State Administration of Taxation and local taxation bureaus to further integrate their resources and provide one-stop services.

“We need to create a fair and unprejudiced environment for market competition and enable social creativity to blossom in full,” he said.

“Cutting red tape, streamlining government functions and enhancing compliance oversight over the years have paid off. We need to keep pushing it forward without complacency, and foster market development with the help of innovation.”

The Premier asked government departments to build on their own expertise and render more enabling services to innovation.