Retail execs, academics propose measures to boost economic growth

Ding Yining
Better data sharing, well-designed stimulus measures and logistical improvements could help spur consumption, say experts.
Ding Yining
Retail execs, academics propose measures to boost economic growth

Executives from retail businesses and academics suggested improvements in data sharing and relaxed business registration procedure to help revitalize small businesses and maintain stable economic development.

Suning Chairman Zhang Jindong, a deputy to China's National People's Congress, suggested that government-owned public data and urban management data shall be better shared amid China's push for digital infrastructure.

He also pointed to the inconsistency of government and industry data which has prevented the development of the data economy and social services.

He proposed the establishment of a data governance committee to push forward a data-sharing mechanism to ensure that accurate and real-time data can be better leveraged.

"It benefits business decisions and also individual users to better interconnect with each other and promote better interaction," he added.

There should also be a clear distinction between the sharing schemes of different types of data and their jurisdiction, he noted.

Director Liu Shangxi of the Chinese Academy of Fiscal Sciences proposed different forms of consumption subsidies and coupons to target small and micro businesses, which are crucial for employment and basic living needs.

Liu, who is also a CPPCC deputy, pointed out that every 1 yuan (14 US cents) worth of shopping coupon could add about 2.9 yuan of transactions for small and micro businesses, based on analysis of Alipay's payment data in Foshan City, Guangdong Province.

Well-designed consumption stimulus measures can boost the economy with limited fiscal expenditure, he noted. 

Chairman Wang Tian of Better Life Commercial Chain Co proposed that the government set up standardized packaging and transportation facilities near major agricultural production bases to reduce wear and tear on fresh food.

Retail chains should be encouraged to use their expertise to further develop cold chain transportation facilities, and fresh food post-processing standards will allow farmers to pay more attention to product quality, which would in return enhance spending on agricultural products.

Small and micro quick service chain businesses should be encouraged to turn to online business more swiftly with a temporary registration scheme, suggested Marvin Hung, CEO of Hop Hing Group Holdings Limited which co-owns the Yoshinoya franchise on the Chinese mainland.

This could help more food vendors to make up for the loss of foot traffic during the epidemic.

Hung who is also a member of the CPPCC called for a nationwide database for eligible catering businesses.

In this way it would be easier for food delivery platforms to help authorized food vendors to set up online storefronts.

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