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Private Sector Plays More Important Role

With increasing numbers of Chinese people opening their own businesses, the expanding private economy sector is not only deeply influencing the Chinese society, but gradually changing the economic landscape of the world.

This view was expressed by Russell Flannery, associate editor of Forbes Global (Asia) at the three-day 2003 Forbes Global CEO Conference which concluded in Shanghai Thursday.

Just before the conference, Shanghai was selected by Forbes magazine as the world's best potential entrepreneurs' city. Steve Forbes, president, CEO and editor in chief of Forbes, said more entrepreneurs are emerging in China, especially in Shanghai, where the spirit of entrepreneurship penetrated city life.

Statistics show that in 1989, China had 90,581 private enterprises with 1.64 million working staff and 8.4 billion yuan of registered capital. In 2002, the number had surged to 2.43 million with 34.09 million working staff and 2,470 billion registered capital.

Chen Jinhua, director of the China Entrepreneurs Association, said Chinese private enterprises have now ushered a golden time for development.

Liu Yongxing, board chairman of the Oriental Hope Group, who attended the 2003 Forbes Global CEO Conference, said Chinese private enterprises are sparing no efforts to improve efficiency of capital and talent use.

Guo Guangchang, board chairman of Shanghai Fuxing High Technology Co., Ltd., noted that the investment channels of China's private enterprises should be further diversified and the quality of their leadership teams should be improved.

He believed that with the vigorous development of China's private enterprises, the cooperation between Chinese private enterprises and overseas companies will be enhanced.

In fact, the social status of private entrepreneurs has greatly improved in China.

Not long ago, Qiao Zhigang, 35, board chairman of Shanghai Fudan Jinshida Computer Co., Ltd., was appointed director of Shanghai Information Committee.

Moreover, in the "2002 China's most respected enterprises" list compiled by Peking University and China's leading economic newspaper The Economic Observer, the Broad Air Conditioner Co., Ltd., was the sole domestic private company featured.

The ranking also listed a batch of well-known home and overseas enterprises, including Ericsson, Wal-mart, IBM and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.

Analysts believe that Chinese enterprises, after experiencing life-or-death tests, will be able to contribute more to society in the form of tax.

Increasing numbers of Chinese entrepreneurs are calling for a more relaxed social environment for private companies to survive and develop.

Charles Zhang, board chairman of China's leading website Sohu.com.cn, believes that the social contribution made by private enterprises has still not been fully recognized by Chinese society. Some social phenomena like "hating the rich" or "robbing the rich to feed the poor" still exist in China, which needs to change.

(Xinhua News Agency September 19, 2003)

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