News Analysis: China's innovation, entrepreneurship help build new growth engine
China's innovation and entrepreneurship strategy will boost creativity and forge new engines in the current economic transition period, an innovation expert said.
Luo Hui, president of the National Academy of Innovation Strategy, told Xinhua that the policy has prompted a steady economy, rising employment and a push toward industrial restructuring.
"By innovation and entrepreneurship, China can wean itself off excessive reliance on natural resources and steer to a path blazed by human intelligence," she said. "In this way, medium-high growth will be maintained and the economy lifted to a higher level."
Grappling with an unavoidable slowdown after decades of rapid advance, China is counting on mass innovation and entrepreneurship to keep its enviable growth and handle an economic overhaul at the same time.
Weighed down by the property market, falling exports and weak investment, GDP expanded 6.9 percent year on year in 2015, the slowest pace in a quarter of a century. However, figures on China's sweeping entrepreneurial wave told another story.
China saw a record startup boom in 2015 as a total of 4.44 million companies were established, up 21.6 percent from a year ago. More than 80 percent of the new firms were in tertiary industries.
The boom came after government efforts to encourage people to open their own businesses, including easier market entry, less red tape and tax breaks. College students, overseas returnees and even migrant workers are emerging as major forces in entrepreneurship.
Emerging industries, the most attractive sectors for startups, accounted for 8 percent of China's GDP.
"The wave is likely to continue in the coming years as there is still ample room for improvement," said Zhou Shiping, an official with the State Administration for Industry and Commerce. He explained that there are 16 companies for every 1,000 people in China, much lower than 44 in Germany, 43 in Japan and 26 in the United States.
China has been increasing policy support for new businesses, especially in their starting period.
The government will establish innovation platforms and encourage enterprises and universities to build more makerspaces, said a statement released after an executive meeting of the State Council presided over by Premier Li Keqiang on Feb. 3.
There were more than 2,500 incubators for high-tech businesses and over 4,000 innovation bases by the end of 2015, data showed.
By promoting innovation and entrepreneurship, China can not only create jobs and prop up growth but also bring vitality to society and build a fair business environment where diligent people can realize their dreams, Luo said.