China honors private business elite

Hundreds of Chinese businesspeople involved in individually-owned businesses were honored for their excellent careers on Tuesday during an award ceremony attended by Vice Premier Wang Qishan.

Some 302 people associated with individually-owned businesses received awards from the China Private-Owned Business Association, a non-profit organization for individual businesspeople.

Vice Premier Wang, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, presented awards to the winners at the Great Hall of the People.

China has 110 million private businesspeople, including 84.55 million with individually-owned businesses.

Individually-owned, private business has played an increasingly pivotal role in China’s social and economic development, producing about 60 percent of the nation’s GDP, at least half of the tax revenue and 80 percent of jobs.

Despite their tremendous contributions, they face many more difficulties in getting bank loans than their counterparts in state-owned sectors. The situation was getting notably serious during the global financial crisis, when individual businesses were hit with shrinking demand and soaring costs.

To shore up the private sector, the government has implemented a raft of policies, including offering tax cuts and announcing guidelines to allow private businesses to enter key industries.

The report to the 18th CPC National Congress noted, “We must unswervingly encourage, support and guide the development of the non-public sector, and ensure that economic entities under all forms of ownership have equal access to factors of production in accordance with the law, compete on a level playing field and are protected by the law as equals.”

Xinhua