Start-ups in China's rural zones to get more support

Smoke billows from a chimney as workers leave a factory in rural Gaoyi county, China.
Smoke billows from a chimney as workers leave a factory in rural Gaoyi county, China. PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - China will roll out more measures to support rural start-ups to further promote rural vitalization, under a decision at a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday (Jan 17).

It was decided that public financial support to the start-ups will be bolstered.

Migrant workers, college students and veterans who choose to start businesses in the countryside will receive the same policy incentives as locals.

Returning migrant workers whose start-ups have been running for one year or more will be eligible for a lump sum subsidy. Where public finances allow, rural business start-ups will also be entitled to subsidies to relocate or purchase production equipment.

Mr Li said the start-ups promote the rural vitalisation strategy, and enable more talent, technology and capital to flow to the areas.

Empowered by initiatives of massive entrepreneurship and innovation, the start-ups will open new jobs and inject new impetus into the development of agriculture, the countryside and farmers, he said.

Seven million people, of whom 68.5 per cent were migrants returning home, had started rural businesses as of September, according to the Ministry of Agriculture. The entrepreneurs were 44.3 years old on average, and 40.7 per cent had a senior high school, vocational high school or junior college education.

At the meeting, it was decided that financing services and land-use support will be bolstered for rural entrepreneurship, as will policies to provide guarantees. The financing model covering government, banks and insurance will be extended to rural start-ups.

Rural entrepreneurs will be allowed to launch small processing programmes using rural homestead plots to build factories.

More investments will be made to upgrade rural infrastructure, including transportation and electricity. Broadband coverage will be expanded, and faster internet services will be provided at lower cost.

"China is still under considerable pressure in job creation. To encourage rural business start-ups, the government must press ahead with reform to streamline administration, enhance compliance oversight and improve services to create enabling conditions." Mr Li said, as well as providing policy incentives.

According to a decision at the meeting, the government will step up training and offer more administrative services online. Experts, academics and technicians with specialised skills will be given incentives to work in rural areas, and investment in rural start-ups will be encouraged.

A risk control mechanism will be established for rural entrepreneurial activities, and insurance companies will be encouraged to develop related products.