China’s SOEs improve competitiveness to stabilize economy
Employees of China State Construction Engineering Corp work on a highway project in Wuhan, Hubei province, in January. [Photo/CHINA DAILY]BEIJING — China’s State-owned enterprises, the country’s economic backbone, have made significant progress in the past decade, with historic breakthroughs achieved in key areas to boost economic development.“The quality and efficiency of centrally administered SOEs have improved comprehensively, and their vitality and competitiveness have been enhanced across the board,” Zhang Yuzhuo, chairman of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, told a press conference on Thursday.Combined profits of central SOEs have increased from 1.3 trillion yuan ($188.3 billion) to 2.6 trillion yuan over the past ten years. According to the press conference, taxes and fees paid by the central SOEs accounted for about one-seventh of the country’s total tax revenues.The total assets of central SOEs amounted to 81 trillion yuan at the end of 2022 from 31.4 trillion yuan in 2012. Their operating revenues rose from 22.3 trillion yuan to 39.6 trillion yuan during the period.Meanwhile, the strength of scientific and technological innovation of central SOEs has improved significantly with the overall layout and structure optimized, said Zhang.The past ten years have seen research and development spending of central SOEs total about 6.2 trillion yuan, with an average annual growth rate of over 10.5 percent. Some 764 national research and development platforms and 91 national key laboratories have been built.Zhang said during the press conference that all these achievements have significantly contributed to the sustained and steady growth of the Chinese economy, helping optimize and upgrade industrial structures and building an innovation-oriented country.Over the years, continued efforts have sharpened core competitiveness and strengthened the dynamism of SOEs to achieve higher quality and efficiency and to better their role in underpinning the national economy.China started implementing a three-year action plan for SOE reform in 2020 as part of the decades-long efforts to transform SOEs into competitive and modern enterprises.In January this year, Chinese authorities announced that major tasks in the three-year action plan to reform SOEs have all been completed.The SOEs have become leaner and healthier, their system to encourage technological innovation has improved, and supervision over state assets has become more professional, systematic, and law-based.In the future, further reform will improve the core competitiveness and functions of SOEs, including strengthening SOEs’ functional role in serving national strategies, improving modern corporate management, and accelerating innovative SOE development, Zhang said.