Date
17 October 2017
Chongqing is home to big industries such as iron & steel and automobiles as well as thousands of small-scale businesses. Photo: Bloomberg
Chongqing is home to big industries such as iron & steel and automobiles as well as thousands of small-scale businesses. Photo: Bloomberg

POLICY WATCH: Chongqing to build on its industrial strengths

With reform being the buzzword in China nowadays, local governments in many parts of the country are unveiling their own initiatives to shore up regional economies. Various provinces and cities have in recent months outlined plans to encourage private investment, promote strategic industries and boost administrative efficiency. The latest to join these ranks is the southwestern city of Chongqing.

Huang Qifan {黄奇帆}, the mayor of Chongqing, said recently that the municipal government will carry out reforms to boost economic productivity, leveraging the city’s strengths which include a diverse range of industries.

Private enterprises have an important role in Chongqing’s economy, with thousands of small and micro firms in the city engaged in a wide spectrum of activities ranging from auto components to construction materials manufacturing.

Unlike what the government had done in the past to intervene in the market, the administration will now act more as a market regulator to monitor the overall industry situation, rather than have state firms compete with privately owned companies, Huang said.

The municipal government will focus on maintaining a level-playing field in the market, as well as boosting the brand of Chongqing as a preferred place for establishing a business. Through an improved business environment, the government can narrow the gap between the rich and the poor as well as the urban and rural residents, the official said.

Chongqing has already made some headway in exploring new market opportunities for the city’s small and micro enterprises. Meanwhile, it has encouraged the mature businesses in the region, such as motorcycle and automobile companies, to invest and set up factories in places like Vietnam where there is abundant supply of cheap labor.

In September, the Chongqing Foreign Trade & Economic Relations Commission released an overseas investment regulation that encourages local companies to bear key overseas markets in mind while making investment decisions.

Song Gang, director of the Department of Outward Investment Administration at the commission noted that Chongqing is a city with a diverse range of enterprises, including large state-owned companies with developed reputations and products, and small and medium-sized enterprises. All can find opportunities in neighboring countries, he said.

The strategic plan to prioritize investment in key markets comes as Chongqing’s products such as motorcycles are in high demand in neighboring nations such as Vietnam.

Apart from exploring the overseas market, Chongqing has been a front-runner in implementing reforms for economic upgrade. For instance, a new initiative for development of the cloud-computing industry has paved the way for growth of big data related industries.

Chongqing’s e-commerce industry will also look beyond the nation’s boundaries and tap international buyers. Local authorities pledged to further improve the legal framework and work with a new mindset to facilitate the growth of new industries.

– Contact the reporter at [email protected]

RC

 

 

EJ Insight writer

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