SCIO press conference on comprehensively promoting the high-quality development of central state-owned enterprises

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Phoenix TV:

We have noticed that the report to the 20th CPC National Congress emphasized enhancing people's well-being and raising their quality of life. This puts forward new requirements for the social responsibilities of SOEs, especially central SOEs, in the new era. Can you please tell us what kind of social responsibility work central SOEs have done in recent years and how the SASAC will guide central SOEs to better shoulder these social responsibilities in the future? Thank you.

Zhang Yuzhuo:

Thank you. Mr. Zhao Shitang oversees issues related to social responsibilities. Let's invite him to answer the questions.

Zhao Shitang:

Thank you for your questions. SOEs are enterprises of all the people, and the SASAC and central SOEs are committed to meeting the needs of the people for a better life and seeking benefits for the people. In recent years, SOEs have actively fulfilled their social responsibilities to a high standard, helping to ensure and improve people's livelihoods, which has achieved positive results.

First, we have made every effort to ensure the stable supply and pricing of basic products. Currently, central SOEs account for more than 90% of the national oil and gas supply, more than 60% of the power supply, and more than 25% of the coal supply. They have built a large power grid and telecommunications network covering the whole country. In recent years, faced with the tight supply of energy and electricity, central SOEs have made every effort to allocate resources, ensure supply and stabilize prices, and maintained the security of people's electricity, gas and heating supply. Last year, under the conditions of coal-electricity price inversion and enterprise losses, central SOEs responsible for supplying electricity generated electricity at full capacity, with a cumulative power generation of 5.1 trillion kilowatt-hours, supplying 63.1% of national electricity with 54.7% unit capacity of the total. The average daily output of central SOEs in the coal sector was close to 3 million tons, a year-on-year increase of 7.6%. They made profit concessions of over 190 billion yuan in accordance with medium- and long-term agreements. The central SOEs overseeing the power grid have increased their effort to address the power shortfall of a place by utilizing surplus energy of another place, with a total of more than 2,300 cross-regional and cross-provincial support efforts organized, transferring nearly 45 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity to fill the shortfalls and ensure power supply to the maximum. Petroleum and petrochemical central SOEs, on the one hand, have vigorously promoted domestic shale gas exploration and development and offshore gas field construction, producing more than 206 billion cubic meters of natural gas, a year-on-year increase of 6%. On the other hand, under the situation of large increases in import costs, they have strictly implemented relevant national policy requirements to maintain overall price stability. As we all know, last year, the CPI increase rate in China was controlled at 2%, and the PPI increase rate was 4.1%. The relatively stable prices of basic energies such as electricity, oil, and gas played an important role in it. Central SOEs have made necessary and important contributions in this regard.

Second, we have taken the initiative to help small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) solve their difficulties. Last year, SASAC actively implemented the policy package for stabilizing the economy. In May, we introduced 27 measures to help SMEs overcome difficulties and promote coordinated development to benefit the market. We have achieved the goal of "rent exemption as much as possible, rent exemption as soon as possible." Centrally administered SOEs reduced rents by 19.12 billion yuan in 2022, benefiting more than 220,000 tenants. In particular, the four enterprises --China Resources, China Rongtong Asset Management Group, COFCO Group and China Merchants Group-- each reduced rents by more than 1 billion yuan. We have improved service quality while reducing cost, and offered online services and cloud solutions. During the epidemic, power grid enterprises implemented the policy of "non-stop supply in face of arrearages," optimizing services to reduce costs. A total of 17.5 billion yuan was slashed from the price of purchasing electricity through agents. Telecom enterprises have reduced SMEs' network fees, broadband and special line fees by more than 10% since the end of 2021, saving more than 2.2 billion yuan for their clients. We have achieved "loan deferment and interest waiver, and credit data sharing in the financing sector." At the earliest time possible, we formulated and implemented a policy to postpone the principal and interest payment of consumer loans for commercial trucks for six months. Loan repayments of a total of 57 billion yuan were postponed. The State Grid Corporation's financial services app has helped 27,000 SMEs attain low-cost financing of over 90 billion yuan.

Third, we have actively supported poverty alleviation and rural revitalization. We have actively assisted in industries, employment, consumption and intellectual support. Since the 19th CPC National Congress, centrally administered SOEs have offered more than 27 billion yuan in assistance funds for free, dispatched more than 20,000 officials to help, purchased and helped sell more than 36 billion yuan of agricultural products, directly recruited more than 60,000 people, and helped more than 250,000 poor workers find new jobs. As Mr. Zhang Yuzhuo said just now, all 248 counties designated for receiving assistance have been lifted out of poverty, making an important contribution to winning the battle against poverty, promoting all-round rural revitalization and achieving common prosperity.

Fourth, we have taken the lead in promoting green transformation. We have strengthened energy conservation and emissions reduction and actively built a clean, low-carbon new energy system. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, central coal power enterprises' coal consumption has dropped from 319 grams of standard coal per kWh to 298 grams of standard coal. The proportion of clean energy installed capacity to the total has increased from 28% to 45%, and the utilization rate of new energy in power grid enterprises has exceeded 95%. We have actively participated in ecological governance. China Three Gorges Corporation has actively undertaken the task of protecting the Yangtze River. It has invested over 130 billion yuan along the river and has a daily sewage treatment capacity of 10 million tons, benefiting more than 23 million people.

Fifth, we have devoted ourselves to completing urgent, difficult and dangerous tasks. As long as the country has needs and the people have difficulties, centrally administered SOEs will be unswerving and duty-bound. In the fight against COVID-19, centrally administered SOEs in the construction, pharmaceutical, and other industries rushed to help local governments fight the epidemic and made every effort to ensure a stable supply of medicines, vaccines, and other materials. In disaster relief, centrally administered SOEs gave full play to their professional advantages and offered relief during earthquakes and floods immediately. After the Luding earthquake in Sichuan in September last year, centrally administered SOEs provided more than 6,900 rescue personnel, supplied more than 4,000 vehicles, and donated 1.29 billion yuan.

As we have embarked on a new journey in the new era, the SASAC will continuously require SOEs to adhere to the development concept that puts people first, promote the Chinese path to modernization, and accelerate the process that all share the fruits of development. First, we will further ensure supply and stabilize key energy and resource product prices. Second, we will actively accelerate rural revitalization to ensure people's livelihoods. Third, we will encourage the mutual development of industrial chains and ecosystems. Fourth, we will vigorously promote green development and low-carbon development. Thank you.

Zhang Yuzhuo:

I would like to add something to Mr. Zhao's answer to the question raised by the journalist from Phoenix TV. As you have noticed, international energy prices rocketed last year, with natural gas prices in Europe soaring more than 10-fold. I have also worked in the petroleum and gas industry. The amount of natural gas we produce ourselves is limited, around 200 billion cubic meters. Therefore, liquefied natural gas (LNG) needs to be imported in large amounts. And centrally administered SOEs shouldn't sell the imported LNG at higher prices, instead, they should sell it at rather low prices to stabilize energy prices, and that is how we kept prices at a relatively low level last year with the price inflation rate standing 2% for the 10-year period. It's fair to say that centrally administered SOEs have shouldered their social responsibilities. Thank you. 

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