By Wang Wei
China.org.cn staff reporter
China should look to long term opportunities while taking short term measures to deal with the crisis, according to Zhang Sai'e, a member of the 11th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), and director of South China Holdings Ltd.
"By helping to solve the crisis, China can improve its international standing. Then Chinese enterprises will face less resistance when implementing the strategy of 'going out'."
Zhang Sai'e, a member of the 11th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), and director of South China Holdings Ltd.
Change values, encourage people to consume more
The financial crisis has sent an important signal that Chinese people need to change their values. They need to be educated to consume more, said Zhang.
Zhang took the toy industry as an example. "Most Chinese people think it is a waste of money to buy toys for children. They prefer to buy computers or other study aids. But western people understand that toys can promote a child's intellectual development, even if they get broken in the process."
"We need to change these values and pay attention to cultivating people's needs. In the long term, this will stimulate domestic demand and promote industrial development."
The government should take a lead in those fields such as household management services and the fitness business. Once people's attention has been captured, private enterprise can join the market and add vitality.
Speed up urbanization, industrialize agriculture
As migrant workers are losing their jobs and return home in huge numbers, Zhang said the government needs to act on two fronts.
The first is to speed up urbanization. "Migrant workers have been working in cities for years, but are still labeled as 'farmers' by the Chinese hukou (residence permit) system. The government should incorporate them into cities and include them in the social security system."
The second is to industrialize agriculture. Large-scale farming and agricultural mechanization needs to be introduced – which will inevitably lead to the number of people directly involved in agriculture declining.
Zhang said that her own factories in the Pearl River Delta had managed to avoid deep job cuts by reducing working hours and work sharing schemes.
Financial crisis early-warning system
At last year's CPPCC session, Zhang proposed the setting up of a committee to act as a financial crisis early-warning system.
"There was a positive response to my proposal," said Zhang, "but it is taking time to implement."
"We need to include the voices of the public in the early-warning mechanism. The government is more policy oriented."
More support for exporters
The government needs to give additional aid to exporters facing severe difficulties due to the financial turmoil, said Zhang.
"Financial support is necessary. Value-added tax on exports should be abolished in accordance with WTO rules."
Zhang said stable development of export enterprises can stimulate the domestic demand for labor and raw materials and promote growth in production and processing industries.
(China.org.cn March 11, 2009)