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3 Million Private Firm Jobs Planned in Liaoning
Private economy will be on equal footing with the State economy and enjoy more flexible growth opportunities in Liaoning, Northeast China's traditional industrial province, provincial officials pledged.

"Instead of focusing our mind on reforming the State-owned enterprises (SOEs) as before, we will strive to promote the private sector and achieve reciprocal development of both State and private economies in the years ahead," said Wen Shizhen, Party secretary of Liaoning during a provincial private economy work conference.

Wen stressed that boosting the development of the private sector, the most vigorous part in the market economy, will accelerate the reform of SOEs and help keep social stability by offering more jobs in the province.

While private economy in Liaoning still lags behind some southern provinces, it has seen fast growth in recent years, said Bo Xilai, governor of Liaoning.

By 2000, a total of 1.52 million individual and privately owned enterprises have been established, contributing 24 per cent to the province's total gross domestic product (GDP). These enterprises have created more than 4 million job opportunities.

The province has set a goal for its private economy to grow at an annual growth rate of more than 20 per cent in the next five years.

Three million jobs will be created by the private sector during this period.

Wen said private sector is encouraged to play a bigger role in SOE share-holding system reforms.

In addition, it is expected to speed the province's rural economic restructuring and help develop the tertiary industry.

"We will enhance our efforts in luring more domestic and overseas enterprises to invest in the province to expand the scale of our private sector," said Wen.

The province pledged to offer more support in terms of policy and law, better service and less intervention for the development of private enterprises.

Private enterprises will be more outward-looking. All qualified private enterprises are to be given import and export rights and propelled to participate directly in global competition.

(China Daily February 22, 2002)

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