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Lin Yifu: “Mass Entrepreneurship and Innovation”
will Keep the Chinese Economy Soaring

Source: people.cn Author: Qiao Xuefeng Date: 2015-06-03

Lin Yifu, famous economist and Honorary Dean of the National School of Development (NSD) of Peking University said in Beijing recently that public entrepreneurship and innovation suits the current stage of China’s development and represents a major strategic step to keep the Chinese economy soaring.

According to reports, Premier Li Keqiang first made the public call for “mass entrepreneurship and innovation” at the Summer Davos Forum in September 2014. In his speech, he called for a new wave of “mass entrepreneurship and grassroots entrepreneurship” and a new situation of “mass innovation and innovation by all” on the land of 9.6 million square kilometers.

That has been followed by his frequent elaboration of these key words on occasions afterwards, such as the World Internet Conference, the Executive Meeting of the State Council and this year’s Report on the Work of the Government. Premier Li Keqiang said that to promote massive entrepreneurship and innovation by all will expand employment, increase people’s incomes and contribute to vertical social flows and equity and justice.

On 7 May, Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council and Member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee conducted a study visit to the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Entrepreneurship Street of Zhongguancun, Beijing. He stressed that to promote massive entrepreneurship and innovation by all is a major reform initiative to stimulate the wisdom and creativity of the public and an important means to realize prosperity for the country and the people and all kinds of constrains and shackles must be firmly broken in order for entrepreneurship and innovation to become a trend of the times and gather strong momentum for economic and social development.

Obviously, mass entrepreneurship and innovation has been made a national strategy, which shows that China’s economic restructuring has entered into a deep-water zone. In response, Lin Yifu said that economic development itself is a process of continuous technological innovation and industrial upgrading and in the case of our country, we must bring out the creativity of each and every person to advance technological innovation and industrial upgrading so as to break the middle income trap and realize the dream of great revitalization of the Chinese nation.

At the same time, Lin Yifu also stated that at this stage of development, China needs to shift from the past labor-intensive industries to technology and capital-intensive industries through innovation and entrepreneurship and China has a lot of advantages in entrepreneurship and innovation in these areas.

Speaking of the huge differences in innovation between China and the United States, Lin Yifu said that China is at a different stage of development from the United States and the US is strong in capital and technology-intensive industries while China is strong in labor cost, which means that the cost for scientific and technological workers in China is lower than that in the US. In addition, China also enjoys a huge market and the comprehensive supporting capacity in hardware and industries.   

According to Lin Yifu, China can absorb advanced, cutting-edge technological innovation from foreign countries and build on China’s own manufacturing capacity and huge market, which is a way to rapidly upgrade China’s industrial technology and labor productivity.

Finally, Lin Yifu also talked about his observations on innovation. He noted that innovation should be a process in which personal innovative efforts leads to individual development and at the same time contributes to social progress and only innovation of this kind can be good for individuals, the country and our society.