Private businesses urged to embrace innovation

By Yuan Shenggao (China Daily)

Updated: 2021-01-29


Two deputies to the Shanxi People's Congress discuss this year's provincial government work report. [Photo by Shi Xiaobo for China Daily]

Privately owned enterprises in Shanxi should grasp the opportunity of the province's new development strategy that is driven by innovation to strengthen their competitiveness, said delegates during the two sessions of the provincial people's congress and the local Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference held in Taiyuan last week.

Hu Quanxi, a deputy to the Shanxi People's Congress and board chairman of Tianbao Group, said his company is enhancing investment in technological innovation to help it climb up to the high end of the value chain.

Tianbao, based in Dingxiang county in Xinzhou city, is a privately owned manufacturer of casting products.

"Since the Shanxi provincial government proposed a new, innovation-driven development strategy several years ago, we have nurtured a competence in innovation by establishing our own research institution and attracting excellent professionals in the industry," Hu said.

Tianbao reported a sales revenue of 810 million yuan ($125 million) in 2020, up more than 30 percent from the previous year, according to Hu.

He predicted an even greater increase in the years to come as the company builds a 5G-connected, cloud-powered and intelligent manufacturing facility for producing castings for wind power plants.

"The project, with a total investment of 223 million yuan, is expected to have an annual capacity of 60,000 metric tons and generate an annual sales revenue of 1 billion yuan when it becomes operational,"Hu said.

While companies pledged to strengthen innovation-related investment, deputies to the Shanxi People's Congress and members of the provincial CPPCC also called on local governments to create a better business environment for privately owned enterprises.

"Compared with those in developed coastal regions, Shanxi's private businesses are weaker in strength," said Chen Langhua, member of the Shanxi Committee of the CPPCC and an official of the Shanxi Federation of Industry and Commerce."It's beyond their ability to mobilize their own resources in large-scale research and development."

He said private businesses need strong support from the government.

"The government support should include but not be limited to such measures as relaxing market access, reducing taxes and improving administrative services," Chen said.

He also called on Shanxi's research institutions and universities to support private businesses by opening R&D facilities, sharing other resources and increasing cooperation with them.

Guo Yanjie contributed to this story.