SCIO briefing on work of supporting the development of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and assisting self-employed business owners

The State Council Information Office held a press conference on Feb. 27 in Beijing to introduce the work supporting the development of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and assisting self-employed business owners. February 28, 2020

Economic Daily:

My question is for Mr. Zhang. We have found that some small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) which possess greater capacity for independent innovation and a high degree of professional technology have been more capable of managing the risks resulting from the outbreak. However, have you developed targeted measures to help more traditional labor-intensive SMEs with a weak ability to resist risks? How can these enterprises realize transformation? Thank you.

Zhang Kejian:

Thank you for the question. You are very careful and professional. We have also noticed that some traditional labor-intensive SMEs have greatly suffered due to the epidemic,but some SMEs that are engaged in specialized, sophisticated, special and new areas have demonstrated a relatively strong ability to resist risks and can resume their work and production very quickly. Up to now, 53.6 percent of more than 20,000such SMEs at the provincial level have resumed work. Meanwhile the resumption rate of 248 outstanding companies in the four areas, as designated by our ministry, is 91.4 percent. This fully demonstrates that core technologies and capabilities are effective weapons for SMEs to cope with the impact of the epidemic and achieve transformation and development.

In the next step, we will further increase our efforts to provide assistance. We will do our best to work with related departments to help SMEs solve pressing problems such as cash flow shortages. We will guide them to continue their operations and support them to realize transformation and upgrading at the same time. 

The concrete measures are as follows:

First, we will support labor-intensive SMEs to improve their capacity for innovation. Following the important instructions made by General Secretary Xi Jinping, as well as the decision and deployment made by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, we will step up efforts to cultivate outstanding enterprises targeting subdivision categories, highly specialized and with strong R&D capacities. With these measures, we expect more labor-intensive enterprises to transform and upgrade into professional, skilled and specialized SMEs, and become manufacturing champions in their respective sectors. 

Second, we will step up efforts to improve the digital, networked and intelligent development of SMEs. We will encourage SMEs to utilize cloud technology, and support them to integrate decentralized manufacturing capabilities by using a collaborative manufacturing platform. This will help them share technologies, production capacity and orders. We will strengthen the level of IT application of SMEs, and promote flexible production, management redesigns and data development. Amid the epidemic, we will step up our efforts to promote working online, remote collaboration, video conferencing, digital management and applications of industrial software. We think this will accelerate SMEs' integration and deployment of smart manufacturing technologies, and boost the construction of smart manufacturing systems, intelligent production lines and digital workshops. After the epidemic is curbed, I hope to invite you to visit some of the institutions and enterprises to see the smart manufacturing systems, intelligent production lines and digital workshops that I've mentioned. 

Third, we will provide financial assistance for entrepreneurship and innovation. We will give full play to 657 national public service pilot platforms for SMEs; 329 national entrepreneurship and innovation model bases for micro and small enterprises; more than 4,000 provincial-level pilot platforms and over 2,000 provincial-level model bases, which have all been identified by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, so as to provide service and facilities for enterprises' transformation and upgrading. We will work with the Ministry of Finance to allocate 10 billion yuan for 200 development zones within three years, in a bid to create special business entities of innovation and entrepreneurship, and help the labor-intensive SMEs cooperate with upstream and downstream enterprises in their supply chains to pursue integrated innovation. Moreover, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the Ministry of Finance will jointly launch an innovation and entrepreneurship competition for the SMEs in 2020, with a focus on innovative projects regarding the prevention and control of the COVID-19. By doing so, enterprise innovation will be encouraged, and the implementation of these projects will, hence, be helpful for better innovation and entrepreneurship. Thank you.

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