Boost needed for private enterprise development in China

08 Mar 2023

China should boost private enterprise development, increasing support for private industrial parks to issue public real estate investment trusts (REITs).

This is according to statements from a Shanghai delegate at the Two Sessions 2023 event.

The country's private economy plays a key role in economic and social development, contributing over 60% to GDP, tax contribution of more than 50%, tech innovation and new product development over 70%, with private firms making up more than 90% of all businesses, Shine News reports.

"The healthy development of the private economy is inseparable from a level playing field and a sound legal system," according to Zhou Tongyu, a deputy to the National People's Congress and vice president of the Shanghai Federation of Industry and Commerce.

Nevertheless, the private economy's lack of legislation has impeded its strong development, she added.

Zhou has suggested unified legislation is required on private enterprise development at a national level to promote research and development of the private economy, and set unified standards regarding equal participation in market competition, private enterprise market access and the protection of the rights of private businesses.

Zhou also pressed for additional support for private industrial parks to introduce publicly traded real estate investment trusts (REITs).

This could help bolster the whole chain of "investment, financing, management and exit" of industrial parks.

"But from the actual issuance, the current public REITs project is still dominated by those with state-owned shareholders while there are only two private REITs, which to a certain extent limits the financing and development of private industrial parks," Zhou added. She suggested further reforms are needed in terms of the issuance policy.

In addition, Zhou proposed regulators, including the China Securities Regulatory Commission and stock exchanges, should increase support for REIT issuance through high-quality private industrial parks.