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China to Pump up Support for Rural Startups
 

China will roll out more measures to support rural startups in order to further promote rural vitalization, according to a decision at a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on January 17.

It was decided at the meeting that public financial support to rural startups will be bolstered. Migrant workers, college students and veteran soldiers who choose to start businesses in rural areas will enjoy the same policy incentives as locals. Returning migrant workers whose business startups have been running for one year and above will be eligible for a lump sum subsidy for their entrepreneurship. Where public finances allow, rural business startups will also be entitled to subsidies for bringing back or purchasing production equipment.

Li said that rural startups help promote the rural vitalization strategy, and enable more resource elements, including talent, technology and capital, to flow to rural areas.

Empowered by the initiative of massive entrepreneurship and innovation, these business startups will open new channels for employment, inject new impetus to the development of agriculture, rural areas and farmers, he said.

A total of 7 million people, of whom 68.5 percent are migrant workers returning home, had started businesses in rural areas as of last September, according to the Ministry of Agriculture. These entrepreneurs are 44.3 years of age on average, and 40.7 percent of them have had senior high school, vocational high school or junior college education.

According to a decision at the meeting, financing services and land-use support will be bolstered for rural entrepreneurship, so will the guarantee policies. The financing model covering government, bank and insurance will be extended to rural business startups. Rural entrepreneurs will be allowed to launch small processing programs using rural homestead plots to build factories. More investments will be made to upgrade rural infrastructure, including transportation and electricity. Broadband network coverage will be expanded, and faster internet services will be provided at a lower cost.

"China is still under considerable pressure in job creation. To encourage rural business startups, the government must press ahead with the reform to streamline administration, enhance compliance oversight and improve services to create enabling conditions for rural entrepreneurship," Li said.

"Meanwhile, the government should provide policy incentives," he said.

According to a decision at the meeting, the government will step up training services and offer more administrative services online in rural communities with full guidance and help. A special training campaign targeting rural entrepreneurs will be carried out with the support of government subsidies. The government will encourage experts, academics and technicians with specialized skills to work in rural areas, and encourage investment in rural startups.

A risk control mechanism will be established for rural entrepreneurial activities, and insurance companies will be encouraged to develop related products. Those starting businesses in rural areas will also be covered by employment assistance, social insurance and social aid schemes. Wage arrears of migrant workers must be fully paid up.

Li stressed in conclusion that all the above policies must be fully implemented to deliver hope and support to all those trying to start their businesses in rural areas.

(Xinhua News Agency January 17, 2018)

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