Workshop presentation - 中欧社会论坛 - China Europa Forum

Workshop presentation

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Chinese Proposal

From the 1940s on, the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) never ceased, forming an unstoppable movement. The economic crisis of 1973 1975 in western world being a watershed event was followed by a rush in the rise of SMEs in America, Japan and Western Europe. In light of the varied roles SMEs play in creating jobs and technical innovations, governments support the industrial restructuring of SMEs with a series of beneficial policies in legislation protection, management, fiscal and financial support and technical aid, and at the same time mobilize all sectors of society to offer comprehensive services to SMEs.

Despite a short history in China, SMEs are gradually taking larger shares in national economy. The thirty years since China’s reform and opening up to the outside world have seen a series of profound changes in China’s economy. China’s socialist market economy has been improved. As state-owned enterprises (SOE) withdrawed from the competitive fields, private enterprises and foreign businesses slowly entered into some formerly monopolistic industries. Following the trend that state-owned enterprises retreat while private-owned enterprises advance, those vigorous SMEs in China have gained impetus leading to development of regional economy as well as growth in employment. Using their institutional advantages, the SMEs evolved into industrial clusters in market competition with large-scale companies. In the mean time, in the coastal areas of southeast of China, where SMEs are flourishing, civilian chambers of commerce (business associations) bourgeoned and refined simultaneously.

With the constant development of the SME, independent dominant value come into being after these business elites with awareness of innovation enjoyed high of economic status. In the course of social changes, they demanded emancipation from social forces so as to have more freedom in social and economic choices, thus boosting local economy and social dynamics as they develop.

How do we protect the vitality and vigor of newly born SMEs? How can they benefit from policies and local culture? In what ways do these enterprisers of SMEs maintain self-discipline and autonomy?

Moreover, how the development of local SME, in all its regional and cultural diversity, impact social beliefs and improve the local welfare system? With much concern, the question is how SME enterprisers push forward local democracy and civilian society, accumulate social capital, participate in regional integrated governance so as to contribute to vigor of the economy, politics, culture dynamics and the well-being of individuals?