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Li pledges to boost innovation 2014.10.15
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PRIME Minister Li Keqiang (李克.) said on Saturday that the economy must open further to harness the innovative and creative talents of its 1.3 billion people.

After three decades of reforms, China, often called the world’s manufacturing workshop, had launched administrative and market reforms “to boost creation and innovation”, he said on a visit to Germany (德國).

“What we hope is to encourage 1.3 billion people, including 800-900 million workers, to mobilise their innovation capability and creativity so that everyone will have an opportunity to make great accomplishments,” he said.

This would “turn our dividend of population into a dividend of talents”.

Li was speaking at a business forum on the first country stop of a week-long Europe (歐洲) tour, a day after Berlin (柏林) and Beijing (北京) signed a range of business deals and pledged to deepen links and boost trade.

The premier delivered his speech in the northern port of Hamburg (漢堡), a European base for 500 Chinese companies.

Li reminded his audience that China is a “driving force of growth and recovery of the world economy”, predicting a GDP growth of about 7.5 percent this year, despite multiple global crises.

Just as important for China, he said, was job creation, raising household incomes and the “war against pollution”.

During Li’s visit, foreign companies operating in China again voiced long-standing complaints about unfair market access, including being blocked from public tenders and having to form local joint ventures.

The premier said China must integrate further with its economic partners, protect intellectual property rights, enforce fair business rules and create “a level playing field” under government oversight.

“China needs to learn from other countries as well as the fine achievements of human civilisation, and must combine these with China’s own national conditions, so that China will become a (hotbed) for creation and will be a huge market for the world,” he said.

Li said China “must rely on innovative development, and we cannot do this without the rest of the world. The world also needs China to achieve prosperity.”

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