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Marching Toward New Goals

At the advent of the new century, we are glad to see that important progress has been made in the reform and difficulty relief of State-owned enterprises (SOEs) through the common efforts of the upper and lower levels of the whole Party, the objective of reforming SOEs and lifting them out of difficulties in three years set forth by the Party Central Committee has by and large been realized.

This achievement is of very important significance to ensuring the sustained, rapid and sound development of the national economy, enhancing the competitiveness and control force of the State-owned economy and guaranteeing a good beginning of the 10th Five-year Plan for economic and social development.

In the face of the new century and the 10th Five-year Plan, SOE reform and development will also enter a new stage, we should continue to work in a down-to-earth manner, make pioneering efforts to advance continuously toward the new goal.

The target for SOE reform and difficulty relief in three years has been basically realized, this is a hard-won achievement. It is the result of the common efforts of the whole Party and the people of the whole country under the correct leadership of the Party Central Committee with Comrade Jiang Zemin at the core; it is the result of the hard struggle and pioneering efforts made by the general run of enterprise workers and staff members, and the result of the all-out support extended by people on various fronts and in various professions and trades.

The central authorities have adopted a proactive fiscal policy and a stable monetary policy, and expanded domestic demands; raised the export refunding rate, encouraged exports and boosted economic growth; cracked down on smuggle and tax fraud, rectified market order, controlled arbitrary collection of charge, indiscriminate fines and unchecked apportionment of expenses from enterprises, thus improving enterprises' external environment. All these measures have played an extremely important role in the SOE reform and difficulty relief.

Various regions, departments and economic and trade commission at various levels and the numerous enterprises have done a great deal of meticulous work and made painstaking efforts to overcome mountains of difficulties. The general run of employees have given active support to reform, and thus made major contributions to enterprise reform and difficulty relief. In this process, we have gained many valuable experiences, effective use of these experiences is of important significance to accelerating SOE reform and development during the new historical period.

In the face of this favorable economic situation, we should both reinforce our confidence and be aware of difficulties and shortcomings. We should realize that attainment of the goal of SOE reform and difficulty relief in three years is only a phased achievement. Many deep-seated contradictions and problems facing SOE reform and development have not yet been fundamentally resolved and the foundation for eliminating difficulties is not firm enough. While a batch of loss-making enterprises ending losses, some new loss-incurring firms have emerged again.

The contradiction of the irrational economic structure has stood out, the quality and efficiency of economic operation remain to be further improved. In addition, along with China's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), a group of enterprises failing to adapt to this new situation will face the danger of going bankrupt. We must not take this lightly, instead, we must do our level best and make great efforts to solve the problem step by step.

The 10th Five-year Plan signifies a new period for China's economic development and a new stage for SOE reform and development. For a period of time to come, oriented toward the establishment of a modern enterprise system, continued deepening of SOE reform and development remains a key link in the structural reform of the entire economy.

Centered on improving economic returns, vigorously pushing forward the strategic readjustment of the economic structure is the main line of the entire economic work. We should vigorously accelerate the strategic readjustment of State-owned economic layout and the reorganization of State-owned enterprises, to ensure that we will have something done in our advance, maintain order in our retreat, well-performed large enterprises should be strong, and liberalized small enterprises be vigorous.

We should continue to implement the strategy for excellent and strong enterprises, actively cultivate and develop a group of large company and enterprise groups which have outstanding main businesses, hold independent intellectual property rights, and boast strong core capabilities.

We should speed up the transformation of a standard corporate system, perfect a legal person management structure, establish a modern enterprise system and strive to make system innovation. These arduous tasks placed before us must be well done before we can further successfully run State-owned enterprises and enhance the competitiveness and control forces of the State-owned economy.

The new century is soon to come, and the new five-year plan for China's national economic development will also begin. In the new historical period, as long as we work with concerted efforts of the upper and lower levels, properly implement the strategic plan of the Party Central Committee and the State Council, go all out and make explorations and progress, State-owned enterprises will certainly be able to make still greater contributions to the sustained, rapid and healthy development of the national economy on the basis of the phased achievement gained in reforming State-owned enterprises and getting them out of difficulties in three years.

(People's Daily 12/12/2000)

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