China announces more measures to shore up small firms
The Chinese government on Thursday announced new measures to help micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and self-employed households navigate hardships.
While chairing a State Council executive meeting, Premier Li Keqiang also specified steps to stabilize foreign trade amid efforts to smoothen industrial and supply chains.
Stressing that MSMEs are crucial to economic development and employment, the meeting noted that some market entities are currently facing increased difficulties, and highlighted the necessity of scaling up support for them.
The country will work to ensure the prompt implementation of supportive measures such as tax refunds and reductions and fee cuts, the deferred payment of social insurance, smooth logistics and aid for businesses to resume full-capacity operations, according to the meeting.
To step up financial support for businesses, major state-owned banks are expected to increase inclusive loans for micro and small firms by 1.6 trillion yuan (US$243.6 billion) this year.
The meeting called on banks to renew loans, extend and adjust repayment arrangements, and waive default interest for MSMEs and self-employed households as appropriate.
It also called for a full investigation before the end of May into the arrears that government bodies, public institutions and large enterprises owe to these market entities.
To support foreign trade enterprises, China will make efforts to retain orders and stabilize imports and exports in key sectors and labor-intensive industries, and ensure the uninterrupted flows of goods at seaports and airports, the meeting said.
It also said that policies will be introduced to facilitate the return and exchange of goods for cross-border e-commerce, and loans for foreign trade enterprises will be increased.
The country will also improve services provided by platforms, including the China Import and Export Fair, to strengthen interactions with cross-border e-commerce businesses, the meeting said.