BEIJING, May 25 (Xinhua) -- China's centrally-administered state-owned enterprises (SOEs) will help struggling small businesses address pressing difficulties and shore up growth, said a circular unveiled Wednesday.
The central SOEs are required to pay off their debt to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in a timely manner, and even advance some payments to companies with good credit that may be experiencing hardships, the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council said in the circular.
The commission urged the implementation of a March circular on exempting three to six months' rent for small businesses that are tenants of central SOEs, and demanded the nationwide three-month exemption be carried out by the first half of the year.
To reduce operating costs and facilitate financing for SMEs, the circular outlined measures including lower prices for electricity and internet services, as well as deferring repayments for commercial truck loans.
Noting that the prospects of large and small businesses are closely intertwined along the industry chain, the commission called for the speedy implementation of some major projects slated through 2025 to unleash demand for products and services from SMEs.
Official data showed that central SOEs made purchases topping 13 trillion yuan (about 1.95 trillion U.S. dollars) last year to benefit over 2 million firms, most of which are SMEs. ■