BEIJING — China will take solid steps in implementing the three-year action plan for SOE reform, and make more efforts to create a level playing field for private firms, the State Council’s executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang decided on Thursday.

Li stressed that SOEs should focus on their main responsibility and business, develop sound market-oriented operating mechanisms, and increase core competitiveness. At the same time, a level playing field for the private sector shall be created to boost their confidence in development.

SOEs need to make continued efforts to achieve higher quality and efficiency, sharpen core competitiveness and strengthen dynamism for sustained growth, to better their role in underpinning the national economy, according to the meeting.

“We will continue to unswervingly consolidate and develop the public sector, and unswervingly encourage, support and guide the non-public sector. The SOE reform needs to achieve higher quality and efficiency, help facilitate deeper cooperation in the industrial and supply chains and enhance SOEs’ core competitiveness,” Li said.

Solid steps will be taken in implementing the three-year action plan for SOE reform. The task of relieving SOEs of their obligation in undertaking social programs will be essentially completed this year. Greater efforts will be made in deepening the mixed-ownership reform, strengthening the modern corporate structure, and developing sound market-oriented operating mechanisms.

SOEs will be supported in enhancing basic research and innovation, advancing research on critical technologies, and vigorously promoting entrepreneurship and innovation.

The SOEs’ non-essential business will be spun off at a faster pace, to enable the SOEs to better focus on growing their main business.

The meeting also decided on further efforts to create a level-playing field for private firms, to boost employment.

Market access will continue to be broadened. Power grid operators will accelerate the spinning off of competitive operations such as equipment manufacturing. Oil and gas infrastructure will be made equally accessible to all businesses regardless of types of ownership.

Private companies will be supported in participating in the construction of major railway projects.

“We must stabilize the growth of the private sector with every possible means. The private sector has contributed over 90 percent of new jobs. It is remarkable for a country with 1.4 billion people to achieve a fairly full employment,” Li said.

Key national research infrastructure will be made more accessible to the private sector. The accreditation of national-level technology centers in private companies will be accelerated. The channels for private business employees to get professional qualifications will be unclogged.

Small and medium-sized private firms will be allowed to jointly participate in industrial land transaction, including the tendering, auction and listing for sale.

Local governments will be encouraged to establish risk sharing mechanisms for loans made to micro, small and medium-sized companies.

“We need to increase support for private firms and create broader space for the private sector, so that they will be able to bring into full play their respective strengths,” Li said.

“A prosperous private sector will in turn support the growth of the SOEs,” he said.

The meeting also decided on measures that will help provide inter-provincial access to high-demand government services key to the growth of businesses and people’s daily lives.

Some 58 service items, including market entity registration, pension scheme portability, verification of professional certificates and notarization of diploma and driving license, will be made accessible inter-provincially by the end of this year.

Another 74 service items, including industrial production licensing, record-filing of the settlement of medical bills, social security card application and household registration relocation, will be made available across provinces by the end of next year.

Online access will be optimized to make inter-provincial services more convenient and user-friendly. Meanwhile, the need of a smaller number of people for on-site access to these government services will also be fully met, the meeting urged.

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