With businesses gradually returning to normalcy in Hubei province, officials are leaving no stone unturned to bolster high-quality development, despite downside pressures caused by the COVID-19 epidemic, provincial authorities said.

On Monday, Wuhan announced 10 targeted measures to restore growth momentum and promote high-quality development in the city, such as taking more companies public and developing the digital economy, according to Vice-Mayor Xu Honglan.

According to Xu, the new measures also include providing strong support for Wuhan-headquartered enterprises, spurring breakthroughs in digital and industrial digitalization, boosting the online economy, and promoting the development of new energy, connected and smart vehicles, cybersecurity and medical equipment industries.

More efforts will also be made to enhance the level of biomedicine research and development, promote innovation and upgrade the service industry, cultivate more high-tech companies and listed firms in the city, Xu said in Wuhan during the two-day 2020 Hubei Capital Conference for High Quality Development.

The conferences saw 49 key projects being inked for a total value of 92.5 billion yuan ($12.6 billion), including 27 funding projects totaling 30.66 billion yuan. The funding projects will be in fields such as commercialization of technological research results, entrepreneurship, integrated circuits, healthcare, digital economy, new energy vehicles and cultural industries.

Ying Yong, Party secretary of Hubei, said the economic growth in Hubei during the first six months of this year narrowed by 19.9 percentage points compared with the first quarter, saying that the province took three months to gain an economic output equal to 80 percent of the total output in the first half of 2019.

“We will further expand opening-up to attract more investors,” Ying said. “More efforts will be made to introduce a group of leading enterprises and high-quality capital, build a high-standard interactive platform covering domestic and foreign investment institutions, enterprises and media and foster a better business-friendly environment.”

To further boost the high-quality development in Hubei, the Shanghai Stock Exchange will make a big push to support innovation-oriented companies in Hubei to list on the science and technology innovation board, work with Hubei to improve the quality of listed companies and enrich financing methods, according to Huang Hongyuan, chairman of the Shanghai Stock Exchange. Wang Jianjun, chairman of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, said it will arrange more green financing channels to encourage capital flows into Hubei.

During the conference, the municipal government of Wuhan also announced the launch of the Hubei Hongtai Fund for High Quality Development totaling 30 billion yuan to vitalize emerging sectors.

Sheng Xitai, founder of Hongtai Aplus, said the funds will mainly be used to help Hubei in upgrading traditional industries and nurturing emerging sectors.

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