China issues call for more innovation and entrepreneurship

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China's State Council has issued a call for ministries and local governments at "all levels" to support innovation and start-ups. China should catch up with other countries and "encourage the general public to start their own businesses", the State Council said in a statement published online.

"Hundreds of thousands of people's passion for innovation should be encouraged to build the new engine for economic development," the online statement continued, adding that this trend also reflected the "key spirit" of high-level Communist Party meetings chaired by President Xi Jinping . This year, one of the government's key economic targets is employment, with the country aiming to create a minimum of 10 million new jobs. It comes as Beijing cuts its 2015 economic growth target to 7%, the lowest rate in more than two decades. There will be 7.49 million university students graduating this year, a record high.

The rise of e-commerce as a new industry in recent years has prompted many young Chinese to launch businesses in cyberspace. Alibaba has helped to create several tens of millions of online sales jobs in recent years, state media reported.The State Council said the central government would encourage technology experts and university students to start their own businesses. Students would be able to apply for space and funds from the government to help get their companies off the ground.

The government undertook to find ways to attract venture capital funds - one of the main funding sources for technology start-ups worldwide - and angel investors who often support young companies, betting on their big potential for future fast growth.

The government must "promote financing for technology start-ups, improve the funding and investment exit system of venture capital funds and angel investors", the cabinet statement said, adding that Beijing would also make relevant approval processes more efficient and reduce red tape.