In early June, the State Council, China's cabinet, promulgated a set of guidelines aimed at encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship in the country.
Since the beginning of this year, entrepreneurship and innovation have become words on everyone's lips in China.
In early March, Premier Li Keqiang proposed to develop twin engines to drive development—popular entrepreneurship and innovation, paired with increased supplies of public goods and services—in the Government Work Report delivered to the National People's Congress, China's top legislature. The two engines are expected to improve the quality and efficiency of China's economic growth.
This is not the first time that entrepreneurship and innovation have featured in Premier Li's speeches.
During the opening ceremony of the Eighth Summer Davos Forum held in Tianjin last September, Li said, "When reform and innovation fuel a massive wave of entrepreneurship from the grassroots level upwards across the 9.6 million square km of China, the enormous potential of the diligent and resourceful Chinese people will be fully unlocked and the engine driving China's sustained economic development will constantly regenerate itself and remain robust."
Since then, he called for concrete measures to substantiate mass entrepreneurship and innovation, stating the need for them to turn into new engines of economic growth in response to the present downturn.
In 2014 alone, the State Council and several ministries issued 13 relevant documents or regulations, containing administrative procedure reforms and financial support policies, which are all aimed at facilitating entrepreneurship and innovation.
However, government efforts alone are inadequate. Only when the majority of society take the initiative to innovate, make breakthroughs and assume responsibilities can the overall atmosphere of innovation and entrepreneurship truly take form. There should have been great potential for creativity in a country with 1.3 billion people, a labor force numbering 900 million and 70 businesses of various size and type. However, for a long time, Chinese people have been known for being lacking in innovative thinking. They are now faced with fresh challenges and opportunities as an overwhelming wave of entrepreneurship and innovation washing over the nation.
It's gratifying to see that the Chinese Government is trying to clear obstacles for mass entrepreneurship to create a new engine for healthier economic growth and that start-up firms across the country are also seeking to take advantage of the new measures.