context: The main difference between priorities the minister of industry and IT discusses below and those set by his ministry’s work conference is emphasis on ‘small giants’. This shift responds to ongoing concern over ‘state advances, private retreats’, acknowledging the key role of niche SMEs in industrial upgrading.

Miao Wei 苗圩 Ministry of Industry and IT (MIIT) minister held a press conference summarising MIIT priorities for 2019

  • promote high-quality development in the manufacturing industry
    • build an innovation system around companies
    • promote industry-university-research institute collaboration
    • launch national manufacturing innovation centres that focus on generally applicable technology rather than individual breakthroughs
  • stimulate the internal market
    • new growth drivers
      • internet of vehicles
      • new energy vehicles
      • 4k ultra high definition displays
      • cruise ship building
      • ice and snow equipment needed by 2022
    • information consumption
      • wearable devices
      • virtual reality (VR)
  • encourage industrial upgrading
    • continue the ‘increase choice, improve quality, create brands’ campaign
    • implement green manufacturing projects
    • foster an energy saving and environmental industry
  • cultivate excellent enterprises
    • implement measures to support SMEs
    • reduce their tax burden
    • guide them to become highly specialised and innovative ‘small giants’
  • extend high-quality opening up
    • fully implement the negative list system and reduce the size of the negative list
    • open all industrial zones to investment in sectors already opened up in free trade zones
  • improve the business environment
    • devolution
    • VAT and energy price reductions for the manufacturing industry
    • financial support for the real economy and manufacturing

MIIT set up a 60 bn financial guarantee fund to help SMEs become ‘small giants’, reports Economic Information Daily. Hunan, Liaoning and Gansu have also issued detailed plans, says the report. Next steps include

  • a risk sharing mechanism between state, banks and firms
  • new investment products and services that use IP as collateral
  • measures to attract social capital investment at an earlier stage for small firms and support them with equity investments