Private entrepreneurs from the petrochemical and chemicals sector in East China's Shandong province have pledged to integrate high-quality resources, technology and innovation into their production to replace energy-consuming and high pollution projects with high-tech and environment friendly ones.
The entrepreneurs said they were encouraged by President Xi Jinping's speech at a meeting with some private entrepreneurs in Beijing on Nov 1, in which Xi stressed that China will unswervingly encourage, support and guide the development of the nonpublic sector. Xi also put forward six measures to support the private sector.
Li Xiangping, chairman of Dongming Petrochemical Group, an oil refining company, said the president's speech has injected vitality to the private sector and made him confident about Dongming's future development.
Shandong has a capacity to refine 210 million metric tons of oil every year, of which 130 million tons are refined by private companies. Most of these firms are expected to become high-end petrochemical producers in the next three to five years due to technology upgrades.
Dongming has launched a five-year project from this year to develop a high-end, environment friendly and clean chemical industrial cluster that focuses on the deep processing of organic chemical materials.
"Many other projects will be developed in the next three years. Some of these are large-scale ones with long gestation periods and need approval from the central government," he said.
Li expects local government to assist private companies in getting more approvals and supportive policies from the central government to develop new projects.
Zhang Jianhong, chairman of Dongyue Group, said the six measures put forward by Xi are practical and instructive.
"The measures including easing the tax burden, reducing production costs and optimizing the business environment are exactly what we need," said Zhang.
Founded in 1987, Dongyue has grown into a high-tech enterprise specializing in the fluorine and silicone industry. The company has acquired a number of independent intellectual property rights in the field of new materials and new energy sources.
Dongyue plans to invest 13 billion yuan ($1.87 billion) on high-end projects, including 3 billion yuan on a deep processing silicone project.
The Shandong provincial government has announced a series of measures to promote the private sector to upgrade their traditional facilities to high-end ones.
Prominent among these measures are the 35 ones released last week, covering fields such as market access, innovation, cost reduction, fundraising, going global and business-government relationship.
The private sector contributes 50 percent to the province's gross domestic product and 90 percent of the province's businesses are privately run, according to the government data.
Private businesses are expected to total 10 million by the end of 2020 from the current 8.3 million, according to the province's development plan for the private sector. The added value from the private sector will contribute 55 percent to the province's gross domestic product in 2020, five percentage points higher than the current share.