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Issue 553 16-1-2011
Summary:Highlight's from This Week's Issue of The Economic Observer:

Jan 16, 2012
Translated by Zhu Na

China Wants to Make Finance Sector Serve Real Economy
News, Cover
~ China held its Fourth National Financial Work Conference on Jan 6th and 7th of this year. The meeting, which takes place once every five years, was convened against the background of a complicated domestic and international economic background.
~ The focus of the conference was a call to return to that old chestnut of making the financial sector better serve the real economy.
~ "The guiding principle of the conference is to direct bank funds to invest in the real economy such as strategic emerging industries, infrastructure and agricultural modernization," said Zheng Xinli, vice president of China International Economic Exchange Centre.
~ At the conclusion of the work conference, four major tasks were laid out: implementation of prudent momentary policy; optimizing the loan structure; deepening of market reform of the IPO system; and the need to keep a close watch on the domestic and international economic situations in order to effectively prevent economic financial risks.
~ Wen Zongyu, director of Economic Research Office on State-owned Economy of Ministry of Finance, said that the financial sector as a whole is not facing problems related to reform, but rather is dealing with the challenge of reducing risks and maintaining steady economic growth.
~ Ba Shusong, deputy director of Research Institute of Finance of Development Research Centre of the State Council, said that the reform of financial institutions was the main focus in the past, but now it will shift to reform of the methods according to which interest rates and exchange rates are set.
Original article: [Chinese]

Government Pledges More Financial Support and Tax Cuts for SMEs
News, Cover
~ The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has submitted to the State Council draft proposals to reduce the taxes and charges paid by smaller businesses as well as helping such firms get access to financing.
~ The draft, entitled A number of Views on Further Supporting the Healthy Development of Small & Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), will remedy problems left over after pervious policies, a person familiar with the matter told the EO.
~ The proposals will guarantee that SMEs are treated favorably by the tax system as well as expanding the sources of financial support for which they qualify. There will also be measures addressing government procurement from SMEs.
~ The government has been taking steps to support SMEs since October. For example, in November, the Ministry of Finance and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) jointly issued a notice exempting small and very small businesses from 22 types of administrative fees and charges from Jan 1 2012 to the end of 2014.
~Xie Hong, General Secretary of the Guangdong Association for Small & Medium Enterprises, said the latest proposals can't solve all of the problems facing SMEs in 2012, as orders decline and costs grow. His peer at the SME Service Center in the neighboring province of Fujian Huang Meidan, told the EO that business owners are already hoping for improved access to financing in 2012, and that many small firms will go bankrupt unless this materializes.
Original article: [Chinese]

Reform on the Books for How Government Compensates Farmers for Land
News, page 3
~ The Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR) has been set the task of reforming the current system for managing how farmers are compensated for any rural land that is requisitioned by the state, the reform must be completed by the end of 2012.
~ The EO learned that Premier Wen Jiabao instructed the ministry to make changes to how land acquisition is carried out during the central rural work conference that was held last month. The reforms should be focused on making sure that the living standard of rural residents whose land have been expropriated is improved, and that their livelihoods are secured in the long-term.
~ A person familiar with the issue told the EO that the research into the reforms has been carried out by the MLR, and that pilot programs may be rapidly expanded in 2012.
~ These pilot projects will move away from the awarding of a one-off cash payment and address the key issue of ensuring the "development rights" of rural residents after they have been separated from their land.
~ In most places, the compensation that most rural residents receive is not enough to cover the costs of transitioning to a new way of life. Even though some farmers may end up with more money than they've ever had before, they often unable to adapt to urban life.
~ "On the outskirts of Beijing, there are some people who drive a BMW as an illegal taxi, they are those farmers who don’t know what to do after receiving large compensation payouts," said Wei Chenglin (魏成林), director of the Beijing Land and Resources Bureau.
Original article: [Chinese]
Female Officials Breaking through China's Glass Ceiling
Nation, page 10
~ On Jan 11 2012, Chen Jiwa was elected as Chairwoman of Guangxi CPPCC, the fist female member to serve in such a position. Since then, there are seven female top officials in 31 provinces and cites in China. Among them, Sun Chunlan from Fujian is the only female provincial Party Secretary, Li Bin from Anhui is the only female provincial governor, the other five are chairwomen of regional CPPCC.
~ Currently, China has more than 230 female leaders at provincial or ministerial level, 670 female mayors and more than 15 million female cadres.
~ Most of the newly promoted female officials were born in the 1950s and have a higher education degree and professional experience, 90 percent of them have a master degree from a party school.
~ Female officials are often limited to being placed in positions where they are responsible for discipline, organization, propaganda and other works. But the latest generation of female officials also included some who are more involved in the core areas of political decision-making.
Original article: [Chinese]

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