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BEIJING: With Covid-19 outbreaks waning and pro-growth policies taking effect, China is making multi-pronged efforts to continue its recovery trend in the second half of this year.
The economy has come under strain from Covid-19 resurgences and global geopolitical conflicts since March. To help it navigate the trough, multiple supportive moves ranging from bolstering market entities to spurring domestic demand have been taken by the country’s policymakers.
Thanks to the efforts, the latest data has pointed to upticks of key indicators. For instance, the purchasing managers’ index for China’s manufacturing sector, which measures the country’s factory activity, came in at 50.2 in June, returning to the expansion territory.
China’s economic operation has been through an unusual journey since the start of this year, said Premier Li Keqiang at a symposium this week.
Generally speaking, the economy is seeing a hard-fought recovery based on the implementation of a raft of economy-stabilising policies, he said.
The premier also stressed that the foundation for recovery is still unstable and called for more hard work to stabilise the economy.
Specifying the priorities for the mid-year economic work, Li noted that China’s 160-million market entities are where economic resilience comes from and are vital to the country’s employment and overall economic operation.,
He called for more measures to revitalise market entities, particularly micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and self-employed individuals.
Toward this end, the State Council, or China’s cabinet, has recently launched inspections in 12 provincial-level regions over government work concerning market entities and employment. Inspection reports showed that the majority of these regions have unveiled supportive measures that have effectively boosted market confidence.
In late June, state organs including the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the State Administration for Market Regulation announced a campaign to toughen a crackdown on irregular fee charges.
This is part of the efforts to ease the burden on companies in sectors such as logistics, finance, and energy.
To further shore up market entities, the country has recently expanded the coverage of value-added tax refunds to companies in seven more sectors, including wholesale and retail sales, agriculture, accommodation, and catering.
This move will bring the total amount of tax refunds and reductions to 2.64 trillion yuan (US$393bil or RM1.74 trillion) this year.
As part of the efforts to drive domestic demand, Ou Hong, an NDRC official, told a recent press conference that priorities will be given to projects such as water conservancy and transportation, as well as the implementation of policies aimed at spurring the consumption of automobiles and home appliances.Amid the infrastructure drive, the country is allocating in advance the local government special bonds to catalyse investment in infrastructure construction.