Private entrepreneurs from Wenzhou have welcomed President Xi Jinping's call to provide more support to private enterprises.
Wenzhou has always been considered the cradle for private entrepreneurship in China. According to local government data, private enterprises account for more than 150 percent of the city's gross domestic product, and over 99 percent of the businesses in the city are privately run enterprises.
In response to Xi's speech, the Wenzhou city government has released a series of policies to support the private sector, including 150 concrete measures on Nov 9. In addition, it has released several measures earlier aimed at maintaining the vitality of the private sector.
Prominent among the new measures are steps that will reduce costs for private enterprises by 10 billion yuan ($1.4 billion) in three years in terms of land usage, electricity, logistics, financing and human resources. In addition firms will be given 150,000 yuan to 20 million yuan for each technology upgrade project.
"With these measures, we aim to promote the sustainable growth of the nonpublic sector and support those who are engaged in it," said Chen Jianming, vice-mayor of Wenzhou.
He Dedao, an executive with Wenzhou Ruiming Industrial Co Ltd, a leading aluminum parts producer in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, said his company will benefit from the tax incentives and steps to create a fairer market.
He, who heads the administration department of the company, said the preferential policies are crucial for improving the private company's overall competitiveness.
"Ruiming has been investing heavily in innovation projects and upgrading production equipment," said He, whose company has over 3,000 employees, including more than 1150 engaged in research and development.
The firm spent more than 1150 million yuan, which is almost equivalent to its annual profit, on two new automatic production lines in 2017, he said.
Due to the sluggish global economy and the slowing down of the automobile sector, the company is not anticipating any growth in profits this year. As a result, cost reduction is crucial for Ruiming's sustainable development, he said.
"The quick response from all sections of the government heralds a new growth era for the private sector," said Chen Jian, who runs an international trade company in Wenzhou.
"President Xi's speech has dispelled the negative perception about the private sector and our anxiety. We are bullish now on future prospects," said Chen.
Xie Jian, deputy head of Wenzhou Business College, said the measures announced by the president will address the main problems encountered by most private firms.
He also expects the government to make more efforts to attract young talents to the private sector and make the overall business environment more friendlier to private firms.
"To help the firms, the government should first of all know what they need. If they want a pear, you cannot give them an apple," he said.