The fifth national congress of self-employed individuals kicks off in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 22, 2018. State Councilor Wang Yong read Chinese President Xi Jinping's congratulatory letter to the meeting and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's written instruction, and delivered a speech at the meeting. (Xinhua/Zhang Ling)
BEIJING, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- President Xi Jinping said Monday that China's private sector has played an important role in bolstering economic growth, promoting innovation, creating jobs, and improving people's well-being over the past four decades.
He made the remarks in a congratulatory letter to the fifth national congress of self-employed individuals.
China's private sector has witnessed a boom in growth since the policy of reform and opening up was implemented 40 years ago and has become an important part of the economy.
At the end of 2017, there were 65.79 million individually owned businesses and 27.26 million private enterprises, which employed 341 million people.
Private enterprises and individually owned businesses should carry forward entrepreneurship, stick to the real economy, and carry out high-quality development, Xi said.
As the economy enters a new development era, the private sector should aim high. China is making more efforts to deepen supply-side structural reform, promote balanced development between regions, boost the real economy, and push forward precise poverty alleviation.
Echoing Xi's words, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang expected the private sector to make greater contributions to fostering new economic drivers and propelling industrial upgrades.
Li said in a written instruction that there should be stronger measures to build a sound business environment for the private sector, including less red tape, better services, and lower fees and taxes. The instruction said the government will protect property and other legitimate rights of private businesses.
China has channeled more energy into shoring up the private sector, with measures to relieve business burdens and allow private investors to enter key industries.
The report to the 19th Communist Party of China National Congress noted the country will further develop its mixed-ownership economy and support the growth of private businesses, with efforts to promote a unified market, ensure fair competition and stimulate market vitality.
State Councilor Wang Yong attended the opening ceremony of the meeting of self-employed individuals.