Ministry helps SMEs to boost urbanization

Updated: 2013-03-21 14:33

By Song Jingli (

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Small and medium-sized enterprises are vital to China's urbanization, Di Na, an official from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said at a conference in Beijing Tuesday.

Di, an inspector at the SMEs department of the ministry, said at the 2013 annual work conference of the China Association of Women Entrepreneurs that urbanization has a lot to do with turning farmers into urban residents, a group that is more likely to find jobs in small and medium-sized companies rather than large companies.

The association, a non-governmental organization, provides a communication and learning platform for female entrepreneurs over China.

Zhu Rui, head of the association, said their investigation found that companies owned or run by women were hit harder by the global financial crisis last year than the year before last.

Di said among all the difficulties faced by SMEs, financing is the top one. She added that it's especially hard for micro companies to get financing. As a result, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has been working toward solving their financial difficulties.

In the past, people attributed the difficulties to institutional flaws but now problems lie in the lack of financial products suitable for SMEs, Di said. She explained that the People's Bank of China, the central bank, and China's Banking Regulatory Commission, the banking regulator, have both asked commercial banks to lend more to SMEs, to use SME financing as a way to improve their credit structure and to make SME financing their new growth point.

Di said banks are not quite willing to lend to SMEs as the cost of lending to a single company is too high for them. But there are ways to solve this problem, she added.

She said State-owned banks, which are big and have enough outlets nationwide, could use the "credit factory for small businesses" model to standardize and streamline loans to SMEs.

China's policy banks, which have the funds but do not have enough outlets nationwide, and city commercial banks, which do not have as many funds as large banks but have many outlets, should cooperate.

Di said the ministry has cooperated with the State Development Bank to roll out a model to help SMEs get funds. The model combines a government management platform, a guaranty platform, a local loan-granting platform, a credit publicity platform and a credit-promotion union.

Di told more than 300 female entrepreneurs attending the conference that addressing the difficulties faced by companies are priorities for the ministry. She also recommended the participants to be aware of what the government can offer in order to take advantage of the opportunities.