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China's Entrepreneurs Could Get Bigger Role
Source: http://www.news.cn
Source Date: Monday, November 11, 2013
Focus: ICT for MDGs
Country: China
Created: Nov 12, 2013

The on-going key meeting of the Communist Party of China is expected to unveil an overall deployment of China's comprehensively deepening reform.

The four-day Third Plenary Session of the 18th Party Central Committee will deliberate on a draft decision on major issues, including transformation of government functions, urbanization, opening up in the financial sector, fiscal and tax system reform, and price regulation.

China's leaders are expected to launch a new era of change by giving entrepreneurs a bigger role in the economy and farmers more control over land at the policymaking meeting that began its second day of deliberations yesterday.

China's leaders are under pressure to overhaul an economic model based on trade and investment that has run out of steam after delivering three decades of rapid growth.

Advisers including the World Bank say they need to give entrepreneurs, who create new jobs and wealth, a bigger role in an economy controlled by big state companies.

"The medium-term outlook for the economy depends on whether or not the government can step out of the way," said Mark Williams, chief Asia economist for Capital Economics.

The gathering of the 205-member Central Committee at this point in the Party's five-year political cycle are seen as a launching pad for changes in economic direction after Deng Xiaoping used a third plenum in 1978 to unveil his reforms.

China's leaders have talked for two years about the need for a new growth model. Pressure for change has mounted as economic growth tumbled to a two-decade low of 7.5 percent in second quarter of this year. The government propped up growth with higher spending on railway construction and other public works but Premier Li Keqiang has said the leadership wants to focus on longer-term reforms.

In an editorial yesterday, the People's Daily praised past economic reforms for bringing prosperity and called for more.

"China needs to deepen reform... opening up on all fronts in order to forge ahead," it said, but it added that the country faced an "uphill road" as it seeks to address new challenges.

"In a society with rapid transformation and accumulating contradictions ... every step we take towards the peak is a perilous climb that bears risk and even crisis," the paper said.

Although decades of rapid economic growth have created new wealth, the gap with rural residents and the urban poor is cause for alarm, analysts say.

Greater urbanization requires relaxing the hukou registration system which restricts social benefits to a person's original residence, depriving migrant workers of services when they move to find employment.

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