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China vows to unleash market vitality, spur innovation
2015-06-05

The State Council, China's cabinet, on Thursday pledged to continue streamlining administrative procedures and improving government services to support mass entrepreneurship and innovation.

A statement released after a State Council executive meeting on Thursday, presided over by Premier Li Keqiang, said that priority should be given to unleashing market vitality and creativity to bolster productivity and job creation.

"More effort will be given to intellectual property protection and injecting new growth momentum into entrepreneurship and innovation, through the creation of sharing platforms and government procurement," according to the statement.

Local governments were encouraged to establish entrepreneurialism funds, issue preferential policies for makers, as well as give tax support to investors that fund small and micro-firms, business incubators and innovation activities, it said.

Premier Li Keqiang is an advocate of startups and innovation, and has visited many inventors and makers this year.

The economy grew 7.4 percent in 2014, the slowest rate for 24 years. The government lowered its 2015 target to 7 percent, while underscoring that growth should be driven by quality and innovation.

"These measures will be beneficial to startups, as they normally have to grapple with challenges like insufficient capital and weak risk tolerance. And preferential tax policies will create new momentum for entrepreneurship and innovation," said Bai Ming, a senior researcher with a Ministry of Commerce think tank.

Crowdfunding and other financing methods should be encouraged, and businesses with special types of equity structures should be encouraged to file for initial public offerings (IPOs), according to the statement.

The cabinet also said it would create a friendly environment for entrepreneurship, and new technology and business models.

Local governments should implement measures in an earnest manner to ensure establishing startups in China is easier, said Wang Yukai, a professor with the Chinese Academy of Governance.

Private investors will be invited to establish medical institutions, and approval procedures for privately-built hospitals will eased, noted the statement.

According to a decision reached at the meeting, China will implement a unified credit code system for corporations and other organizations.

The cabinet also spoke about the Eastern Star, the cruise ship that capsized on the Yangtze River on Monday. It agreed that saving lives was the first priority and rescue efforts would not stop "as long as there was still hope."

It said the investigation team of the State Council will work to find out the cause of the accident and efforts will be made to beef up work safety.

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