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Li: Finance needed for businesses

By Hu Yongqi | China Daily | Updated: 2018-12-01 08:33
A staff member serves a customer at an enterprise service center in Pudong New Area, Shanghai, on Aug 28, 2018. [Photo by Gao Erqiang/Provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Premier says small companies are leading forces for employment

Premier Li Keqiang called to fully implement supportive measures for private and small businesses, including ways to ease their burdens in getting financed, during an inspection tour in Jiangsu province that concluded on Friday.

On Thursday and Friday, Li visited several banks and companies in Nantong and Nanjing during his tour of Jiangsu, which had the second-largest GDP among provincial regions last year.

The premier started the tour at the Chongchuan branch of the Bank of Jiangsu in Nantong on Thursday. He asked the business owners about interest rates and how long it takes to open an account at the bank.

The bank's management reported to the premier that concerted efforts have been made to make more loans to small and micro-sized enterprises while reducing their costs. For seven consecutive years, the bank has maintained the biggest volume of loan balances for private and small businesses, with the largest number of such clients in the province.

Li said the difficulty for small and micro-sized businesses in getting financed should be overcome while costs should be reduced. Small businesses are the leading forces for maintaining stable employment, and the bank's support for small businesses is a way of investing in their own future, he said.

At textile maker Luolai Group, Li encouraged its employees to make innovations in line with China's upgraded consumption to keep its advantages in the market, even though the company is in a traditional industry.

Li visited Suning Holdings Group in Nanjing, the provincial capital, on Friday. Previously relying on selling traditional electric household appliances, the company has shifted to a new model of using internet technologies to sell its products online and offline. Sales surged by 38 percent this year, while online sales went up by 68 percent.

Li said the Chinese market is a huge one with great potential, and cloud platforms should be used to align production, sales and logistics. He also said new technologies, such as smart logistics, should be used to integrate online and offline sales and provide consumers with high-quality services and products.

Like many of his inspection tours, administrative streamlining was an interest for the premier in the Jiangsu trip.

At the "Smart Nanjing" center, run by the Nanjing Municipal Commission of Economy and Information Technology, Li spoke highly of the center using internet-based technologies to get government approvals done online, calling it a highlight for administrative streamlining.

The premier said the government service platform has promoted information sharing and stimulated market vitality and social creativity. He told local officials to make further efforts to improve the business environment.

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