SCIO briefing on government work report

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Phoenix TV:

We noticed the report mentioned that the government formulated and implemented macro policies to meet the urgent needs of market entities. What's the rationale behind that? Thank you.

Sun Guojun:

Thank you for your question, which is a question that particularly captures the key point. Facing the shocks of a severity rarely seen before, the CPC Central Committee pledged to coordinate the COVID-19 response with socioeconomic development, and adopt macro policies to minimize the impact of the pandemic. We carried out the task of maintaining security and stability in six key areas -- particularly job security, basic living needs, and the operations of market entities. We also maintained security in industrial and supply chains, food and energy, and the smooth functioning of grassroots government at the macro level. Our goals were maintaining security by keeping stability while pursuing progress, holding the bottom line and keeping the fundamentals of the employment and economy. Our goals last year were specific and clear. As is clearly stated in the government work report, we gave top priority to stabilizing employment and ensuring living standards, made decisive progress in the battle against poverty, and achieved our goals in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

How can we keep the bottom line and fulfil the task of "maintaining security in six key areas"? This requires a targeted approach based on the characteristics of the epidemic shock and the actual situation of the country. Unlike previous economic and financial crises, the epidemic directly hit the consumer side of the economy and a large number of micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and self-employed individuals. China has more than 30 million MSMEs and 90 million self-employed individuals, which support many of the 440 million urban employees and 290 million migrant workers. MSMEs and self-employed individuals are less risk-resilient market entities. We have to give priority to stabilizing employment and protecting people's livelihood. The policies we have implemented revolve around market entities, with the focus placed on helping less risk-resilient entities overcome difficulties. If there are problems with market entities and employment, there will be problems with people's livelihood. This includes tax cuts and fee reductions of more than 2.6 trillion yuan, including 1.7 trillion yuan in social insurance premium cuts and exemptions, mainly benefiting MSMEs. It also includes more than 7 trillion yuan in deferred principal and interest repayments on loans to MSMEs, as well as concessions from the financial system and a significant increase in loans from large commercial banks for the benefit of MSMEs. As last year's government work report mentioned, market entities must be able to sustain themselves and assure success for the future. We have helped to sustain market entities, which has laid a solid foundation not only for maintaining stable employment and meeting basic living needs, but also for economic recovery. 

In terms of actual results, our employment and economic growth indicators were better than expected last year, and we achieved greater results at a reasonable cost. Thank you.

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