China’s state planner to set up special bureau to support private economy

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s central government has approved setting up a special bureau within the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) to promote the development and growth of the private economy, the NDRC said on Monday.

The bureau will be responsible for devising policies to promote the development of private companies, both domestically and in terms of their international competitiveness, and provide a trouble-shooting function, said Cong Liang, the state planner’s vice chairman.

The private sector is responsible for 80% of new urban jobs, but has struggled to attract investment amid a frail economic recovery over the first half of the year, with business owners also constrained by weak domestic demand.

“This is a powerful initiative … that fully reflects the great importance the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee attaches to the private economy,” said Zhang Shixin, an official within the state planner.

Few analysts expect policymakers to introduce any aggressive stimulus due to concern about debt and financial risk, with the government instead likely continuing to introduce incremental measures in the face of sustained pressure to shore up growth.

(Reporting by Beijing newsroom; Editing by Kim Coghill and Christopher Cushing)