China to deepen pilot regional financial reform

By: XinhuaFrom:English Edition of Xinhua | Updated: 2019-Jul-25 09:23
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BEIJING, July 24 (Xinhua) -- China will intensify pilot regional financial reforms to enhance the role of finance in supporting reform, opening-up and economic development, the State Council's executive meeting presided over by Premier Li Keqiang decided on Wednesday.

Li pointed out that pilot reforms in selected regions should provide experience for comprehensive deepening of reform. The pilot financial reforms and innovations should test the waters for further financial reform.

The Wednesday meeting urged employing multiple tools in a coordinated way as required by macro policy to effectively bring down real interest rates, support the development of small-and medium-sized banks, lower financing costs for businesses, especially for micro, small and private firms. Local governments shall fulfill their due responsibilities while averting financial risks.

It is important to set clear objectives and take a coordinated approach in promoting innovation in regional financial reforms. For the pilot reforms to better meet the needs for economic and social progress and coordinated regional development, priority will be given to financial support for major national strategies for regional development, agriculture, rural areas and farmers, technological innovation, as well as further financial opening-up. Practices proven replicable in the pilot reforms will be rolled out to places where conditions are ripe.

"The financial system is of a macro nature that affects almost all facets of the economy. Our first-order task is to ensure that the macro policy is well calibrated and implemented to continuously bring down real interest rates and financing costs for businesses, especially small-and medium-sized firms," Li said.

Attendees at the meeting stressed the need to establish a working mechanism for regional financial reforms that allows dynamic adjustments. Follow-up evaluation and third-party assessment of the reforms will be enhanced. Any pilot reform that delivers few concrete results, or seriously deviates from the reform objectives must be promptly redressed or halted. No do-nothing pilot reform will be allowed.

Regions where pilot reforms have met their objectives and delivered notable outcomes will be encouraged to explore new reforms. Their replicable practices shall be applied in wider areas at a faster pace, so that financial reform and opening-up and innovation can better boost development, improve people's lives, and avert risks.

"Innovation in regional financial reform needs to follow macro policy and serve the larger interests. Local governments must play a part and fulfill their due responsibilities in supporting the growth of small-and medium-sized companies and coordinating the macro policy with need of regional development," Li said.