Sun, May 03, 2015 - Page 13 News List

China rule shift targets start-up-directed growth

INNOVATIVE:A total of four measures aimed at encouraging entrepreneurs have been passed, including tax reforms and basic social safety benefits for start-ups

AFP, BEIJING

China on Friday announced measures aimed at promoting innovation and job creation, state media said, as authorities seek to ensure that slowing economic growth does not harm employment.

According to measures released by the Chinese State Council, the government should broadly encourage entrepreneurship as well as start-up enterprises to serve as a new engine for economic growth, the Xinhua news agency reported.

The announcement comes as China’s economic growth last year registered its worst annual performance in nearly a quarter of a century, expanding 7.4 percent, while GDP decelerated further in the first quarter of this year from the previous three months.

Chinese authorities are tolerant of the slowdown, seeing it as a necessary element of their attempt to oversee a transformation of the economy in which consumer spending drives growth, a change that they and analysts envision as leading to more sustainable long-term expansion.

However, they are sensitive to the potential impact on job growth, which is seen as a key element of social stability in the nation with the world’s largest population.

A total of four measures call for governments at all levels of the nation to place priority on creating jobs, increase employment through the encouragement of entrepreneurship and start-ups, help university graduates to secure employment or establish businesses, and offer improved government and training services, according to Xinhua.

“In order to encourage entrepreneurship and start-ups, governments at all levels were called on to speed-up related reforms and refine policies to ensure fair treatment, favorable financial and tax conditions, and basic social safety benefits for start-ups,” Xinhua said.

The government said in March when releasing the first quarter GDP figure that China’s unemployment rate was “stable” at about 5.1 percent, and that 3.2 million new urban jobs were created in the period.

Such a pace would put the country on course to surpass its annual target of more than 10 million new urban jobs.

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