Li: 5 regions play pivotal growth role
More arduous efforts needed to stabilize economy, premier tells Fujian meeting
Premier Li Keqiang called on Thursday for China's southeastern provincial-level regions to continue playing a pivotal role in supporting national development, stabilizing the economy and ensuring the nation's fiscal strength.
Li made the remarks during a meeting in Fujian province, in which he discussed economic performance with top officials from Fujian, the governors of Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Guangdong provinces, and the mayor of Shanghai.
He noted that the foundation for economic recovery from the downturn in April and May is not yet solid, and more arduous efforts must be made to stabilize growth.
Li's remarks came as China's factory activity expanded in June for the first time in four months as new orders and production improved, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. The purchasing managers index for China's manufacturing sector in June came in at 50.2, compared with 49.6 in May, the bureau said.
Development is the foundation and the key for China to solve all its problems, he said, adding that more efficient coordination is required in the containment of COVID-19 and for economic growth.
He stressed the importance of helping businesses restore their vitality and prioritizing measures to stabilize the job market and commodity prices.
Li highlighted the pivotal role of the five provincial-level regions, which accounted for more than one-third of China's GDP, about 40 percent of fiscal revenue, and about 80 percent of local contributions to central finances.
The regions must further unblock industry and supply chains and bring their economies back to a normal track at an early date, while putting in place sound measures to contain COVID-19, he said.
He singled out China's 160 million market players as the source of resilience for the Chinese economy, saying that ensuring their survival is key to shoring up the job market and economic fundamentals.
Authorities must scale up their aid packages to businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises and self-employed individuals, and explore the rollout of more support policies, he said.
The premier urged authorities in the five provincial-level regions, which attract about 70 percent of China's migrant workers, to stabilize the job market for local residents and migrant workers.
The reform to streamline administration and bolster compliance oversight and government services must be moved forward to improve the business climate, he said.
Li warned against the adoption of oversimplified or sweeping policies by local authorities.
China will open itself wider to the world in an unwavering manner, no matter how the international landscape changes, he said.
The southeastern region, which has been at the forefront of China's opening-up, should continue to forge ahead through trial and error, he said.
He said that the Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta accounted for close to 60 percent of China's foreign trade, and the regions should continue to spur reform and growth with greater strides in opening-up.