BEIJING (Reuters) - China's central bank will continue to operate a prudent monetary policy to improve the financial environment for small companies, its chief wrote in an article on Friday, the latest in a series of supportive official remarks as the economy slows.
Small and micro enterprises are an important force for economic and social development, People's Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan wrote in the article published on the website of the official People's Daily newspaper.
He noted a complicated and unstable domestic and international economic situation, and greater downward pressure on the Chinese economy.
In such circumstances, "financial support for small and micro enterprises would help to maintain stable economic development, promote economic structural adjustment and enhance the internal dynamic of economic development."
China's leaders are working to turn the economy into one led by domestic consumption and demand from a focus on manufacturing and exports, but the task has been complicated as growth slows, and leaders have been at pains to show they will support the economy if needed.
Zhou's comments follow a series a measures to support businesses, especially smaller firms which employ tens of millions.
This week alone, the government has scrapped value-added taxes for small businesses, taken steps to cut red tape for importers and exporters, simplified rules for service industry firms needing foreign currency and said that small firms would be allowed to issue more bonds to help them raise cash.
Zhou stressed the need for banks to make credit available for small firms and for more innovation in financial products and services to take into account the varying needs of small businesses, as well as the construction of a standardized credit system for such firms.
Steady promotion of interest rate reform will also improve the ability of small enterprises to access capital, he wrote.
The central bank would also promote the development of small financial firms able to offer more nimble support to small companies, and encourage private equity and venture capital firms to help in the development of small businesses.
(Reporting by Jonathan Standing; Editing by John Mair)
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