SCIO press conference on development of industry and information technology in 2022

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Hong Kong Bauhinia Magazine:

SMEs provide important support for China's economic resilience and are related to overall economic and social development. May I ask how the operation and development of SMEs were in 2022? What measures did the MIIT introduce to help and solve the difficulties of SMEs? Thank you.

Tian Yulong:

Thank you for your question. I will answer this question. The whole of society pays close attention to SMEs. SMEs connect thousands of households and are also an important force in promoting innovation, employment, and improve people's livelihoods. Since 2020, due to the continuous impact of the epidemic, SMEs have been greatly impacted and faced difficulty in business operations. Under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, especially by giving full play to the role of the leading group of the State Council for promoting the development of SMEs, the MIIT, together with relevant departments, has introduced a series of policies and measures to help SMEs ease their difficulties and develop healthily and steadily. Some measures have been taken in the following aspects.

In terms of tax and fee reductions in 2022, tax cuts, fee reductions, tax refunds, and tax and fee deferrals added up to more than 4 trillion yuan for various market entities throughout the year, with about 4% being enjoyed by small and micro-enterprises. In terms of increasing financing, as of the end of November 2022, the national inclusive small and micro-enterprise loan balance reached 23.2 trillion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 23.7%. In addition, the National Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund has led social capital to invest a total of 35 billion yuan, which has played a very good role in alleviating loan difficulties. In terms of corporate innovation, we have established a gradient cultivation system for high-quality SMEs, accumulatively cultivating 8,997 national-level "little giant" enterprises with high growth potential, advanced technology and strong market competitive edge, and over 70,000 provincial-level SMEs with such strengths. In terms of services, in 2022, we launched the "Together to Benefit Enterprises" service action for SMEs, organized various high-quality resources, and provided policies, management, and technologies. We have provided more than 50 million services to SMEs. Their feelings are good. At the same time, we actively carried out special actions to prevent and resolve payment arrears to SMEs and promote the clearing of undisputed arrears in the ledger. Recently, the office of the leading group issued "Measures for Assisting in Growth Stabilization, Structural Adjustment, and Capacity Enhancement of MSMEs." The move was reported in various news outlets. The document put forward 15 specific measures to help MSMEs solve difficulties and achieve high-quality, sustainable development, especially focusing on their current difficulties and problems and based on a dual strategy of both easing difficulties and providing service, and adjusting structure and building up capabilities in parallel.

With the support of these policies, the vast number of SMEs have continued to strive for self-improvement, rise up to challenges, and overcome various difficulties to achieve stable production and operations. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, from January to November 2022, the number, operating income, and total profit of industrial SMEs above the designated size increased by 10.5%, 6.0%, and 0.3% year-on-year, respectively, demonstrating SMEs' strong resilience and vitality. A survey conducted by MIIT of 43,000 SMEs shows that in 2022, nearly 40% of enterprises had new loans, more than 60% of enterprises invested in research and development, and more than 60% of enterprises invested in fixed assets, demonstrating their growing confidence in development. At the same time, we conducted a survey of more than 1,800 "little giant" enterprises with high growth potential, advanced technology and strong market competitive edge, and found that from January to November, the profit margin of operating income of "little giant" enterprises was 10.7%, which was 5.2 percentage points higher than that of industrial enterprises above the designated size.

In 2023, the difficulties and challenges for the stable development of SMEs remain big. In this regard, all departments and localities need to join efforts. In accordance with the plans of the Central Economic Work Conference, we will continue to work unswervingly both to consolidate and develop the public sector and to encourage, support and guide development of the non-public sector. We will further strengthen policies and measures to promote the high-quality development of SMEs, including improving the policies and environment for their development, providing better services, encouraging innovation and cultivating talents. 

Thank you.

Xing Huina:

If you have no more questions, today's briefing is hereby concluded. Thank you to the three speakers and friends from the media. Goodbye.

Translated and edited by Zhang Tingting, Li Huiru, Xu Xiaoxuan, Zhou Jing, Yan Bin, Yuan Fang, Li Xiao, Liu Sitong, Xu Kailin, Liu Qiang, Wang Qian, Zhu Bochen, Daniel Xu, and Tom Arnsten. In case of any discrepancy between the English and Chinese texts, the Chinese version is deemed to prevail.

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