China formulating detailed rules to develop non-state economy

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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao met the press

China is formulating more detailed rules to further boost the development of the non-state sector of the economy, Premier Wen Jiabao said Monday. [More about Premier Wen's press conference]

The State Council published a set of new rules, dubbed "New 36 Guidelines", in May last year to encourage the private sector's involvement in infrastructure, public housing, public services and financial services, in addition to the areas already open to private investment according to the previous "36 Guidelines" issued in 2005.

In both of the two sets of "36 Guidelines," China promises that it will treat all enterprises, regardless of different kinds of ownership, as the same in terms of laws and policies, including fiscal, taxation, financial and market access policies and measures.

During a press conference after the conclusion of the annual parliamentary session on Monday, Wen acknowledged that China has not fully implemented those polices, which has prompted private business owners to complain about invisible or visible barriers in their development.

"We are now formulating detailed rules for the implementation of the 'New 36 Guidelines,'" he said.

"The two documents will further boost the development of the non-state sector of the economy," he said.

Wen stressed that the government's principle is to consolidate and develop the state-owned sector of the economy and at the same time, to support, encourage and guide the development of the private sector of the economy.

"I don't think we have such a problem as the state-owned enterprises forging ahead while privately-held enterprises falling behind. Nor do we have the opposite problem," he said.

"We encourage different economic entities to compete with each other and reinforce common development," he added.

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