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More Support to SMEs in Suzhou As Conditions Worsen
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NANJING, Jan. 11 -- More government support is to be given to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Southeast China's Suzhou city of Jiangsu province as the businesses are set to to face increasing difficulties this year.

The measures will include tax exemptions, funding to promote upgrading technology and policy incentives to encourage technical innovation, said the proposal submitted by the Suzhou association of industry and commerce at the Suzhou municipal committee of the People's Political Consultative Conference.

The SMEs, important to employment and social stability, are facing unprecedented crises in paying back their loans due to lack of product orders, rising salaries and material prices and appreciation of the renminbi, according to Zhang Yongquan, a member of the Suzhou municipal committee of the People's Political Consultative Conference.

"According to our investigation, the local SMEs are suffering from a deficit which is even more serious than that during the peak time of the international financial crisis," said Zhang.

Jiang Zhengping, another member of the committee, said the government would also provide information and service to guide the SMEs on internal management improvement.

The proposals were brought up to alleviate SME's difficulties after Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to Suzhou in mid December highlighted their plight.

According to official statistics, 9,423 SMEs in Suzhou have annual sales revenues over 20 million yuan ($3.16 million).

goverment support; SMEs; Suzhou;
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