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China to encourage private investment in social sector
   2017-02-24 00:32:55    Xinhua      Web Editor: Zhang Peng

China is to widen market access to areas of medical care, education, caring for the elderly, culture, sports and other social undertakings.

An array of new policies will soon be issued to enable a bigger role for private investment in the social sectors. These measures were approved on Wednesday at a State Council's executive meeting, chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.

Last year saw China's continuous efforts in boosting private investment. The new regulation is the latest push to channel investment to particular sectors where new economic drivers are burgeoning.

More private investment in the education, medicare, sports, culture and entertainment sectors will greatly diversify service supplies, which is also part of the country's supply-side economic reform.

"China's economic and social development are still progressing unevenly, with weak links mainly in areas like the service sector. It is necessary to boost development from the supply side in order to meet growing public demand," Li said.

He stressed the country still has huge potential of investment in the social sector.

A set of supporting policies will come out to boost investment in the social sector as decided at the Wednesday meeting.

Private investors will be encouraged to work with the government in areas of medical care, nursing homes for the elderly, education, culture and sports, with corresponding administrative hurdles being streamlined.

Public Private Partnership (PPP) will be widely encouraged. The government also encourages setting up investment funds based on private investment.

Financing channels will also be provided in helping micro and small businesses to invest in these sectors. The government also calls for stronger protection of intellectual property rights as well as a more comprehensive risk-control system compatible with great openness. Favorable policies in land use and relaxed taxation for private investors will be put in place.

Internet Plus will be widely applied in the medical care, nursing homes and tourism to balance information sharing and credit rating.

Li stressed that non-essential services, which are still heavily regulated, need to be open to private investment.

He said that the government should attain a better balance between power delegation and regulation with an open mind. Threshold may be lowered, but the market should function orderly still.

"Areas with most pressing demand and under most focused attention should be prioritized to deliver tangible results," Li stressed.

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