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Outpatient drugs for chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, will be reimbursa
ble by 50 percent through China’s basic medical insurance program this year, Premier Li Keqiang said at a news conference on Friday.
The measure will relieve financial burdens on patients with the two diseases, which number 400 million in China, he said.
The government will also take steps this year to further relieve medical expenditure by
patients with serious diseases through adjusting medical insurance policies, Li said.
The government has been making efforts to improve people’s access to quality medical services and reduce their medical expenditure, Li said.
Last year the prices of 17 anti-cancer drugs were cut by more than 50 percent on av
erage, and were included in the basic medical insurance program so they were reimbursable, he said.
China’s basic medical insurance program has covered almost the entire population in China, he said.
BEIJING — China has made solid progress in alleviating the financing
problems of small and micro firms, a senior official said Friday.
Outstanding loans to such businesses amounted to 33.49 trillion yuan ($5 trillion) by the end of 2018, accounting for 23.
81 percent of the total outstanding loans, Zhu Shumin, vice chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, said in a statement.
In particular, outstanding inclusive loans to small and micro firms reached 9.36 trillion yuan
, growing 21.79 percent from the beginning of the year, 9.2 percentage points faster than the total loans.
The number of borrowers increased 4.55 million from the beginning of 2018 to 17.23 million, Zhu said.
Meanwhile, efforts have been made to cut financing costs, with the average interest rate of newly
issued inclusive loans to small and micro firms in the fourth quarter of 2018 down 0.8 percentage points from the first quarter.
ce the efficiency of financing services, shortening the approval time from two to three months to five to seven working days, according to Zhu.
To increase financial support for small and micro firms, the country also vows to strengthen control and su
pervision of counter-cyclical adjustment, urge banks to provide better loan services, and improve the financial service enviro
nment, Zhu added.China should step up the construction of underground gas storage facilities to meet increasing dema
nd during the peak consumption period in winter, according to Zhang Mingsen, former deputy chief engineer of the Beijing Research Institute of Che
ical Industry under the State-owned oil giant China Petroleum and Chemical Corp.
The government should provide fiscal and tax subsidies for the construction of underground gas stor
age facilities and improve the pricing mechanism for natural gas to achieve a more open gas market system, said Zhang in his sug
gestions to the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
China consumed 280.30 billion cubic meters of natural gas in 2018, u
p 18.1 percent year-on-year, according to the National Development and Reform Commissi
on, the nation’s top economic regulator. The increase is in line with the country’s aim to encourage the use of gas instead of coal to combat air pollution.
billion cu m of gas shipment last year, a
year-on-year increase of 31.7 percent, it has only 26 gas stora
ge sites with just 8 billion cu m in storage as of 2018, contributing 3 percent of the country’s total gas consumption.
Analysts believe insufficient infrastructure, including underground gas storage an
d natural gas pipelines, is standing in the way of a more open and liberalized domestic gas sector in the country.
Li Li, research director at energy consulting company ICIS China, also suggested that the government should encourage the construction of gas storage ta
nks to prevent future gas shortages during cold snaps, considering the country’s high dependence on oil and gas imports.
To ensure sufficient gas supply, the country’s national oil majors are also ramping up loc
al oil and gas output, adding thousands of wells at oil basins, shale rocks and deepwater fields nationwide.
China’s Ministry of Finance Saturday announced a favorable tax policy for overseas talent working in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
Based on the individual income tax differentials between the Chinese mainland and Ho
ng Kong, overseas high-end talent and professionals in short supply that work in the Greater Bay Area will
get subsidies from Guangdong province and Shenzhen municipality to offset the differentials, according to the MOF.
The subsidies will be exempt from paying individual income tax.
The policy, effective from January 2019 to the end of 2023, applies to nine cities in Guangdon
g — Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Huizhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing, the ministry said.
Mengniu Dairy Co Ltd, China’s major dairy maker based in Inner Mo
ngolia, said high-end dairy products tailored to local preferences will be a leading future tren
d in China’s dairy industry, to meet the increasingly diversified demand from quality-conscious consumers.
The dairy maker said it has witnessed remarkable growth in sales of its yogurt, low-temperature milk and cheese produ
cts in the past few years. Products with high added value in terms of flavor, nutrition, packaging and convenience are fav
ored by Chinese consumers, spurred by growing incomes and purchasing power, the company found.
For example, the popularity of Tetra Pak’s eight-sided packaging, which is easy to hold, and boxed dairy products that c
an be consumed directly from the pack, show the demand for more convenient products from consumers.
have expanded. Now, bakeries, cinemas, convenience stores, gyms are all channels that dairy makers are try
ing to access,” said Yu Xubo, chairman of the board of directors of Mengniu, and president of COFCO Group, China’s largest food trader.
“We have also found that the purchase of fresh dairy products is increasing in major
cities among middle to higher-income earners,” said Yu, who is also a deputy to the 13th National People’s Congress.
This year, Mengniu said it plans to establish specific cold chain logistics cha
nnels and strengthen its ability to produce and transfer fresh dairy products.
Meanwhile, the dairy maker has developed some niche products. It has introduced sports milk with a high protein
content tailored to those who work out often, and milk that acts as a meal substitute, both of which have seen high
er-than-expected sales, driven by new and more diversified demand from consumers, the company said.
and we will introduce more products tailored to the preferences of local consumers. In Indonesia, the penetration rate of yogurt is low and there are not many brands available, so there is a huge market potential,” Yu said.
Li Shengli, a professor at China Agricultural University, said leading Chinese dairy firms Yili
Group and Mengniu Dairy, which are both among the top 10 global dairy producers, are expec
ted to increase their sales by 30 billion yuan ($4.46 billion) to 50 billion yuan in the next five years or so, and could
join the top five global dairy producers, bolstered by strong demand in China.Strengthening the safeguarding and utilization of cultural relics and inh
eritance of intangible cultural heritages were mentioned in this year’s Government Work Report.
This year’s two sessions witnessed a heated discussion among many NPC deputies
and CPPCC members about the issue of protecting, utilizing and developing cultural heritage.
In terms of how to realize the target and boost cultural self-confiden
ce based on China’s national condition, many NPC deputies and CPPCC members shared their opinions.
Gao Yun, an NPC deputy and secretary of the Huangpu district committee of the CPC, said that
we should establish the system of classified protection and proper use of historical buildings, formulate
the law of protection of historical buildings, and establish the system of property redemption of buildings.