Dear guests, colleagues, and friends:
It gives me great pleasure to attend this forum. The Report to the 20th National Congress of the CPC proposed promoting national rejuvenation through a Chinese path to modernization. Finance is the core of the modern economy, and it’s crucial to understand its role in Chinese modernization and the high-quality development of inclusive finance. Today, I would like to share with you some of my views on the theme of this forum.
1. Inclusive finance in China has achieved positive results, serving as a crucial indicator of the quality of financial development
Over the years, the financial system has fully implemented the decisions of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, achieving remarkable results in the development of inclusive finance through comprehensive measures. First, the coverage of financial services continues to expand. Diverse online and offline channels ensure that every township has access to financial institutions, every village has access to financial services, and every household has an account. As of now, the coverage rate of bank outlets in towns and townships has reached 98%, and basic payment services extend to over 99% of villages. Second, the accessibility of financial services has significantly improved. As of August 2023, the outstanding inclusive micro and small enterprise(MSE) loans were 27.8 trillion yuan, with a growth rate of more than 20% for three consecutive years. A total of 60.25 million MSEs received these inclusive loans, constituting one-third of all business entities and half of the active business entities. The outstanding agricultural loans amounted to 54.98 trillion yuan, sustaining a growth rate surpassing that of all other loans for 20 consecutive months. Third, the costs of financial services continue to decline. In August 2023, the weighted average interest rate for newly issued inclusive MSE loans was 4.48%, down by 1.7 percentage points since the end of 2018. All the above three achievements demonstrate notable results.
2. Pushing inclusive finance to new heights in the process of Chinese modernization
In the new journey of building China into a modern socialist country in all respects, the development of inclusive finance requires us to raise awareness, optimize policies, and continuously improve the depth and scope of inclusive financial services. We should adhere to the people-centered value orientation. Prioritizing people’s well-being, we must take people’s financial needs as the reason and purpose of our efforts and improve fulfillment and satisfaction of inclusive financial services. We should uphold the pursuit of common prosperity. We shall integrate inclusive finance into the efforts to narrow the income gap, urban-rural gap and regional gap to ensure that all people share the fruits of development. We should be committed to innovation-driven development. We will reinforce technology empowerment and a data-driven approach and facilitate a deep integration of fintech with inclusive finance, translating technological innovation into the advancement of inclusive finance. We should adhere to green development. We shall advance the co-development of inclusive finance and green finance, making green finance inclusive and greening inclusive finance.
Currently, our key priorities are as follows. First, beefing up financial support to private MSEs to boost confidence and vitality. MSEs are the driving force of development, primary employers, and major innovation players. We must work hard to consolidate and develop the public sector and encourage, support, and guide the development of the non-public sector, bolstering coordination among financial, fiscal, and industrial policies to boost confidence and vitality. We need to strengthen the service capabilities of commercial banks, effectively leveraging diverse financing channels such as credit, bonds, and equity to support the robust development of private businesses.
Second, consolidating the foundation of financial services for agriculture, rural areas, and farmers, to comprehensively promote rural revitalization and build China into an agricultural powerhouse. This is not only a political responsibility for inclusive finance but also a crucial opportunity for the high-quality development of inclusive finance. Priority should go to financial support for food security to ensure the stability of China’s food supply. Our focus is on promoting thriving industries and increasing farmers’ income, supporting key groups to find jobs and start up businesses, and enhancing the inherent driving force of rural development. It is imperative to effectively provide financial services that connect poverty eradication and rural revitalization, forestalling any large-scale relapse into poverty.
Third, enhancing the empowerment of digital technology to expand inclusive finance with greater benefits. We will keep exploring digital technology applications in inclusive finance and actively advance pilot initiatives for inclusive financial reform. We will improve the inclusive financial ecosystem, fostering deep integration of digital inclusive financial services with diverse economic and social scenarios, thus delivering comprehensive one-stop financial services to customers. Fourth, enhancing the protection of rights and interests of financial consumers, with the focus on the security of inclusive finance. Since the recipients of inclusive finance are generally vulnerable, it’s imperative to protect their immediate and long-term financial interests. We shall strengthen financial education to elevate the financial literacy of consumers, empowering them to make informed financial decisions. We will strike a balance between development and risk prevention, forestalling systemic risks, and effectively safeguarding the financial well-being of the general public.
Promoting the high-quality development of inclusive finance is a systematic project. Guided by Xi Jinping thought on socialism with Chinese characteristics for the new era, we must adopt a problem-oriented approach, strengthen systematic thinking, and leverage policy synergy. The financial sector will make continuous efforts to join hands with other sectors to promote the high-quality development of inclusive finance in China. Finally, I wish this forum a complete success! Thank you!