BEIJING, July 8 (Xinhuanet) -- The Chinese government is attachingunprecedented importance to the development of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as it is to initialize a national expo toamplify the voice of this long-neglected sector.
Wang Chunzheng, vice minister in charge of the economic policy maker State Development and Reform Commission (SDRC), said at a press conference Thursday that the China Small and Medium Enterprises Fair will be held in the fall every year from this year.
The first China Small and Medium Enterprises Fair, slated for Oct. 18-22, will occupy a total space of 40,000 square meters in central Guangzhou city in south China's Guangdong Province, one ofthe heartlands of the country's booming private businesses.
Official statistics show that the number of SMEs registered in China had exceeded 3.6 million by the end of 2003. In addition, another 27.9 million individuals are running their own household businesses in the country. These two categories account for 99.6 percent of the country's total enterprises.
Though SMEs contribute to 55.6 percent of the country's GDP (gross domestic product) and over 75 percent of urban job opportunities, they are still faced with restrictions and obstacles in many respects, said Wang Chunzheng. Due to these factors, SMEs are still in a weak position in terms of access to information, technology, human resources, finance and market, according to Wang.
"They (the SMEs) need the support and assistance of the government," Wang said.
In order to create a policy environment that encourages SMEs toaccelerate expansion and enables them to compete on an equal footing, China has already promulgated the SME Promotion Law. The government is drafting other relevant policies such as the Opinions on Promoting Development of Non-Public-Ownership Economy,Regulations on Management of Credit Guarantee for SMEs and Regulations on the Management of National SME Development Fund.
An official from the SME Department of the SDRC said the government has set two major tasks for promoting the development of SMEs, including development of a favorable policy environment and establishment of various systems of public service. This year,the government will focus on three key programs aimed to help SMEsto start business, obtain credit guarantee and improve personnel training.
The government will continue to strengthen the provision of such public service to SMEs as training, assistance on starting business, guarantee of financing, technological innovation and transfer of technology.
The first China Small and Medium Enterprises Fair will invite SMEs from the mainland of China, Hong Kong and Macao to attend. The exhibits will cover five major categories, including art and crafts, textile and garment, household necessities, hardware and electric household appliances, food and beverages.
The fair will also include two specialized exhibition zones under the themes of technical innovation and service industry. Thetechnical innovation section will cover such areas as information,telecommunications, new materials, new energy, bio-pharmacy, advanced manufacturing, environmental protection, sustainable resources development and advanced processing of farm produce. Theservice industry section will show financial guarantee service andproducts, corporate culture and training service, property management technology and products, logistic technology and technology.
The organizers of the fair include the SDRC, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) and the provincialgovernment of Guangdong. Other co-sponsors of the fair include China Small- and Medium-Sized Firms Association for International Cooperation, China Individual Laborers' Association, Hong Kong Trade Development Council and Macao Trade and Investment PromotionInstitute.
Lin Wenying from the China Center for Business Cooperation and Coordination (CCBCC) said the joint efforts of the government and SMEs to hold such a large-scale expo demonstrated the government'sunprecedented commitment to promote the SMEs.
The China Small and Medium Enterprises Fair, now a non-profitable government-sponsored activity, will gradually evolve into a enterprise-led, market-oriented annual occasion in the coming years.
The first fair will have 2,200 display booths and attract participants from Chinese and international distribution companies,retailers, wholesalers, the United Nations' procurement agents, institutes of higher learning, research and development institutes,investment and intermediate agencies. Enditem