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Chinese premier demands efforts to boost social investment

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has urged efforts to boost social (private and mixed-owned) investment by "removing obstacles, improving the environment and expanding room for development."

He made the remarks at a national conference on social investment on Monday, according to an official statement released Tuesday.

Boosting effective investment will have a wide range of influences, including promoting consumption and creating jobs, said the premier.

The government should guide social investment to "weak areas," including infrastructure, public services and emerging sectors, and prevent the flow of funds to industries with too much capacity or high levels of pollution.

The government should continue to streamline administration, overhaul market regulation and optimize services, said Li.

Authorities will widen market access for social investment and eliminate discrimination. They will lower taxes, cut fees and reduce financing costs for enterprises.

Li also asked governments to repay their debts to companies.

China will improve and promote public-private partnership (PPP), which is long-term cooperation between governments and private companies on projects, which are mainly funded and operated by the companies and supervised by governments.

PPP will continue to be used in infrastructure construction and will also be introduced in education, medical treatment and elder care.

Official data showed last week that China's fixed-asset investment grew 9 percent in the first half of 2016, down from 9.6 percent in the first five months and 10.7 percent in the first quarter.

More notably, private investment increased 2.8 percent in the first half, down from 3.9 percent in the first five months and 5.7 percent in the first quarter.

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