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Zhang Yanming, Head of Henan Provincial Commerce Department, proposes to revitalize Henan merchants from four aspects   Time:2019-04-09 17:00   Pageviews:1344

In the morning of April 9, Symposium on Henan Merchants' Role in Better Developing Central China, a special event of the 13th China (Henan) International Investment and Trade Fair (CHIITF), was held in Zhengzhou. During the process, Zhang Yanming, head of Henan Provincial Commerce Department, held a discussion with Henan merchants on how to better develop central China and offered advice and suggestions on this topic.

Zhang Yanming first thanked the Henan merchants attending the symposium and reviewed the achievements made during 2018. He said that General Secretary Xi Jinping during the sessions of NPC and CPPCC this year came in person to participate in the deliberation by Henan delegation and delivered an important speech, placing great hopes on the work in Henan and clearly expressing requirements. Rare opportunities come with great responsibilities. And Henan merchants are expected to seize the opportunities and make new contributions to better developing central China. He said, just now several Henan merchants made speeches based on their own experiences, and proposed many valuable suggestions; their wonderful speeches showed their confidence in the development of Henan. Since the adoption of reform and opening up, especially from the 18th CPC National Congress, under the strong leadership of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, the Henan provincial government coordinated the promotion of the four policy priorities, continued the implementation of the four development measures, maintained the linkage of the five pilot sites and strengthen the synergy of the four silk roads. With these efforts, new achievements and progress have been made in the economic and social development of central China. In 2018, the province's GDP exceeded RMB 4.8 trillion, and total retail sales of consumer goods exceeded RMB 2 trillion, ranking the 5th place around the nation. Its total import-export value reached RMB 551.27 billion, ranking the first place in central China, and its export volume ranked the 8th place across the country. Its foreign direct investment stood at USD 17.9 billion and actual paid-in investment from anywhere beyond the province was RMB 964.7 billion, the sum of which roughly accounted for one fourth of fixed-assets investment across the province during the same period. And 129 Fortune 500 companies and 160 China Top 500 enterprises made investment in Henan province. All of these achievements shall be attributed to the efforts of mass Henan merchants. The provincial party committee and government are very concerned with and supportive of Henan merchants' development. For them, organizing Henan merchants together in pursuing development is an important approach to open wider to the outside world, and Henan merchants' wisdom is an important supporting power for revitalizing Henan province and prospering people there.

Zhang Yanming highlighted that since the reform and opening up began, Henan merchants have made great progress around the world by their own efforts, but all have been confronted with different difficulties in terms of capital, technology and market which have limited their development in some way. First, most Henan merchants are small and medium-sized private enterprises who may often face difficulties in financing and shortage of funds due to high threshold for them to get listed. Second, Henan merchants fall short of self-independent innovation ability due to their own weak economic foundation and insufficient support from relevant governmental departments. Third, export enterprises have suffered a lot from the changes in the global economic environment. Fourth, the Henan merchants in some places have failed to maintain good relations and caused severe damages to each other. Fifth, due to the policy of untying industry associations from the connection with government, some governmental departments have neglected to manage the associations of Henan merchants, leading to less exchange, cooperation and insufficient policy support. These difficulties and problems are real or even severe ones, and must receive high attention.

In response to the above problems, Zhang Yanming proposed to take actions in the following aspects:

1. Keep strengthening the provincial commerce department's guiding role.

It is necessary to keep deepening the cooperation with Henan merchants in commerce and provide them with stronger policy support. The government shall promote the transformation and upgrading of Henan merchants' foreign trade enterprises, help them explore the international market, continue to implement their brand strategy, build their own brand, and actively organize Henan merchants' enterprises to participate in China International Import Expo. The government shall start to build a platform to monitor (or liaise with) the foreign companies within the province and the investments abroad; release Instructions on Handling Investments Abroad and Guideline for Foreign Labor Cooperation; move faster to build a provincial public service platform of "Going out" and help Henan merchants find business opportunities abroad. Henan merchants' e-commerce enterprises shall develop and grow stronger, enter rural areas through comprehensive demonstration projects, and continue to keep their information on file, especially that of private enterprises. Support shall be given continuously to the eligible projects applied by Henan merchants such as cold-chain logistics, China time-honored brands and wholesale markets of agricultural products.

2. Gradually put in place an evaluation mechanism of Henan merchants' associations.

Efforts shall be made to carefully design and establish an evaluation mechanism of Henan merchants' associations, and visit and investigate various Henan merchants' associations. Based on the investigation results, it is suggested to evaluate Henan merchants' associations, formulate a list of industry associations and chambers of commerce given business credit within a period and publish the credit-giving standards and results for the public review; to design a specific work flow, prepare operable policy and measures, maintain the effective mobility of industry associations, chambers of commerce and the third-party intermediary organizations who have been given credit; to promote the healthy development of Henan merchants' associations by giving credit in different periods of time, giving credit to different social organizations at the same time, and encouraging market competition among intermediary organizations.

3. Further improve the mechanism of cooperation and exchanges.

It is necessary to convene regular work conferences, give full play to commercial departments' guiding role, and utilize Henan Provincial Commerce Department's business association information service platform to strengthen the communication between commercial departments and Henan merchants. A "through train" system shall be established to realize the interconnection between them, and thereby promote the cooperation and exchanges between Henan merchants and local organizations across the province to make the best of all parties, facilitate industrial integration and create a win-win situation.

4. Give full play to Henan merchants' demonstration effect.

Henan merchants shall play a role as propagandist, liaison man or salesman for the development of Henan province. Henan merchants shall fully use their resources to precisely scheme cooperative projects in key industries such as artificial intelligence, big data, bio-pharmacy, robots, healthcare for the elderly, and modern service industry, and invest more quality projects in Henan. They need to give full play to their role as a bridge or link, and continue to act as a go-between for investment attraction in Henan and introduce more quality travelling merchants to Henan for investment. Besides, they also need to publicize and promote Henan, bring good news to Henan and expand her popularity and influence so as to attract more people to gain a deeper understanding of Henan and therefore love her. They shall take initiative to explore the market at home and abroad for Henan enterprises and introduce the local quality products to the outside.

Zhang Yanming, at the end of symposium, emphasized that since reform and opening up, especially from the 18th CPC National Congress, Henan has experienced sustained and stable social and economic development, presenting a good situation featuring a strong momentum in development, superposition of strategic effects, distinct advantages, a well-functioning government and harmony among people. The increasingly better development momentum, more advantageous business environment, bigger steps in reform and opening up, and more dense atmosphere for business startup all bring new opportunities for the vast majority of Henan merchants. Henan merchants are expected to keep playing their role, carry forward their spirit, roll up their sleeves to work harder, and contribute their new wisdom and energy to better developing central China.