The large-scale fire fighting/water rescue amphibious aircraft AG600 was assembled and rolled off in Zhuhai a few days ago. This is another major achievement made by China in the field of large aircraft. Every breakthrough of "Made in China" is a powerful annotation of China’s economy. Xinhua news agency
[Economic Interface, Building a Modern Economic System]
Manufacturing is the main body of the real economy and the foundation of the construction of a modern economic system. How to allocate more financial resources to the key areas and weak links of manufacturing development in accordance with the spirit of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, promote the transformation from China manufacturing to China creation, from China speed to China quality, and from a manufacturing power to a manufacturing power, are major issues facing China’s high-quality economic development in the new era.
Finance is the lifeblood of modern economy, and smooth finance leads to substantial prosperity. Finance supports the construction of manufacturing power, on the one hand, it needs finance to return to its origin and enhance the ability to serve the development of manufacturing industry; On the other hand, it is also necessary to actively create conditions to provide guarantee support for financial reform and innovation.
1. What is the root cause?
Financing is difficult and expensive for manufacturing industry.
Data show that from 2006— In the decade of 2016, the proportion of loans in China’s manufacturing industry dropped from 25% to 16.2%. Affected by this, the growth rate of China’s manufacturing investment continued to decline from 2012 to 4.2% in 2016, and it decreased by 27.4 percentage points in five years, which lasted for a long time and the decline was unprecedented. Although it stopped falling and rebounded in 2017, it was only 4.8%.
Financing is difficult and expensive, which is a prominent problem in the development of China’s manufacturing industry in recent years.
2006— In the decade of 2016, the proportion of loans in China’s manufacturing industry dropped from 25% to 16.2%. Affected by this, the growth rate of China’s manufacturing investment has continued to decline since 2012. Investment is not only related to the current economic growth, but also to the cultivation and generation of new kinetic energy, which plays a key role in optimizing the supply structure. The weak investment has seriously restricted the optimization and upgrading of China’s manufacturing industry.
The formation of this problem is first related to the inadaptability of China’s manufacturing development under the new normal, and also reflects the inadaptability of China’s financial structure. For a long time, the development of China’s manufacturing industry has a remarkable "speed-benefit" feature, with economic growth reaching more than 10%, and all industries, trades and enterprises will make profits; Once the economic growth is lower than 8%, many industries will suffer industry-wide losses. With China’s economic development entering a new normal, the growth rate has shifted from high-speed growth of about 10% to medium-high-speed growth of about 7%, and the efficiency of enterprises has begun to decline continuously. The research shows that the average return on equity of China’s A-share non-financial listed companies has been declining since 2010, from 12.9% to 6.8% in 2015, while the weighted average asset-liability ratio has increased from 58.2% in 2010 to 60.1% in 2015. In 2016, the leverage ratio of the enterprise sector was still as high as 165%, far higher than the international warning line of 90%.
From the perspective of financial structure, bank loans, bonds and stocks currently account for more than 80% of the financing amount of the real economy. These three financing methods all have typical procyclical characteristics. When the economic situation is good, the benefits of enterprises are good, banks are willing to lend, and it is easier to issue bonds and stocks; The economic situation is not good, and the efficiency of enterprises is declining. For the sake of risk prevention and control, banks will be reluctant to lend, suppress loans or even cut off loans, and it is difficult to issue bonds and stocks. Before 2012, this financing method will not have much problem for the investment development of enterprises, because the economic growth rate has decreased, but it is a short-term fluctuation in high-speed growth, and it will soon resume high-speed growth. In other words, China’s financial structure based on bank loans is more suitable for the previous high-speed growth stage. Facing the requirements of high-quality development in the new era, it also needs reform, optimization and innovative development.
Revitalizing manufacturing industry, especially advanced manufacturing industry, is the key to realize a virtuous circle of economy in the short term and the lifeline of national economy in the long term. Finance is the lifeblood of modern economy, and smooth finance leads to substantial prosperity. Facing the inevitable requirement of China’s economic development in the new era and the fierce competition in the world, we must focus on eliminating the financing constraints of manufacturing development, guide and promote finance to improve the efficiency and level of service manufacturing development, and accelerate the construction of a manufacturing power.
2. How to support it
Create new demands of powerful countries for financial development.
The development of China’s manufacturing industry in the new era requires not only effective financing support from finance, but also a series of service solutions including consulting, investment and financial management, so as to realize the transformation from "financing" to "integrating wisdom".
At present, the scale of China’s manufacturing industry has been ranked first in the world for seven consecutive years, but the problems of insufficient development imbalance such as key core technologies being controlled by people and lack of world-renowned brands are still very prominent. We must implement the innovation-driven development strategy with greater efforts, accelerate the development of advanced manufacturing industries, support the optimization and upgrading of traditional industries, and promote quality change, efficiency change and power change.
Different development needs different financial support. First, we should vigorously implement differentiated credit policies. At present, bank credit funds account for more than 2/3 of China’s real economy financing. In accordance with the requirements of supply-side structural reform, we should improve and optimize credit conditions, support the manufacturing industry to increase varieties, improve quality and create brands, actively resolve excess production capacity, eliminate backward production capacity, and give full play to the role of finance in promoting the optimization and upgrading of industrial structure. At the same time, we should vigorously develop small and medium-sized banks and private financial institutions. It is strictly forbidden for bank funds to enter the stock market and real estate market for speculation and so-called innovation that is divorced from the real economy. In fact, after World War II, Germany and Japan also experienced a situation similar to today’s China. In order to accelerate the upgrading and development of manufacturing industry, both governments have adopted structural credit support policies.
Second, vigorously develop industrial chain finance, financial leasing and other financial services that are directly integrated with the industry. Industrial chain finance is a service model that financial institutions rely on the core enterprises in the industrial chain to provide comprehensive solutions for all enterprises in the industrial chain. Compared with bank loans, it is more service-oriented and targeted. However, financial leasing integrates financing and material integration, and reduces the pressure of one-time payment of funds, which provides an effective way for enterprises to upgrade their technical equipment. In 1950s and 1960s, the United States upgraded its technical equipment in this way. At present, the penetration rate of financial leasing in developed countries such as the United States and Britain remains above 50%, while China has not yet reached 5%, and there is still much room for improvement.
Third, actively develop venture capital (VC), private equity funds (PE) and other financing products, and explore service modes such as equity pledge loans and investment-loan linkage to provide long-term and stable financial support for the innovation and development of manufacturing industry. VC is future-oriented, and values the potential and benefits of the future development of enterprises. It does not require the past operating conditions, nor does it require enterprises to provide financing mortgages. PE is a combination of financing and financing, which not only provides capital support for enterprise development, but also provides all-round value-added services for enterprises, such as coordinating the relationship between enterprises and other enterprises in the industry, expanding procurement or sales channels, improving governance structure, etc. It is a capital that can span the economic cycle and is intellectual capital. VC and PE still have great development potential in China.
Fourth, efforts should be made to provide specialized comprehensive financial services for enterprises to "go global". The "Belt and Road" construction is an important measure for China to implement all-round opening up in the new era. As an important part and implementer of this strategy, it is inevitable for the manufacturing industry to "go global". However, the economic development level of the 65 countries along the "Belt and Road" is uneven, and the social system is very different. Relevant research shows that in 33 countries, the proportion of stock transactions to GDP is less than 10%, and direct financing is almost lacking; There are 24 countries with higher real interest rates than China, and the credit supply is seriously insufficient. Faced with this situation, we must coordinate financial support methods such as policy banks and commercial banks, banks and non-banks, financial innovation and institutional mechanism reform, and strive to provide professional, personalized and diversified financial support for the manufacturing industry to "go global".
3. Explore practice
Realize the benign interaction between finance and manufacturing industry
In order to promote the benign interaction and coordinated development between finance and manufacturing, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Finance, the People’s Bank of China, the China Banking Regulatory Commission, the China Securities Regulatory Commission and the China Insurance Regulatory Commission have jointly issued and implemented a series of policies and measures since 2016, and conducted exploration and practice of industrial and financial cooperation.
Finance is related to the overall economic and social development and has its own development laws and requirements. Finance supports the construction of manufacturing power, on the one hand, it needs finance to return to its origin and enhance the ability to serve the development of manufacturing industry; On the other hand, it is also necessary to actively create conditions to provide guarantee support for financial reform and innovation.
The General Office of the State Council clearly stated in the Notice on Establishing the Made in China 2025 National Demonstration Zone (Guo Ban Fa  No.90) that it is necessary to "actively promote the integration of industry and finance, establish an industry-finance information docking platform, innovate financial support methods, and enhance the ability and efficiency of financial support for manufacturing development". The so-called integration of production and operation refers to the institutional innovation practice carried out by government departments, financial institutions and industrial enterprises to improve the efficiency and level of financial service manufacturing. Among them, government departments mainly build platforms and mechanisms for the interaction and cooperation between financial institutions and industrial enterprises, and at the same time, make necessary improvements and reforms to relevant policies and regulations and institutional mechanisms, support the market to play a leading role in the allocation of financial resources, and do not interfere in the business decisions of financial institutions and manufacturing enterprises.
The integration of production and operation has been highly recognized and actively participated by all parties concerned for more than a year, and remarkable results have been achieved. Taking the docking between banks and enterprises as an example, according to incomplete statistics, as of December 2017, more than 5,000 banking institutions involved in the integration of production and operation have actually issued loans of more than 3 trillion yuan to more than 95,000 enterprises. The root of this achievement lies in the fact that the integration of industry and finance has realized the communication and interaction between financial institutions and industrial enterprises at the macro and micro levels by establishing the coordination mechanism of industrial and financial information docking and direct docking between banks and enterprises, and solved the information asymmetry problem of all parties; By means of financial discount, reward, compensation and shareholding, the problem that financial departments are unwilling to invest and enterprises cannot afford to invest has been solved; It provides an effective way to actively and steadily promote financial reform through pilot projects and gradual advancement.
At present, the integration of industry and production is just the beginning. In the next step, we will focus on the following six aspects: First, make full use of big data, cloud computing and other information technology means to establish more convenient, fast and efficient information communication channels; The second is to expand the field of production-integration, support enterprises to effectively use the capital market to optimize the industrial organization structure and industry layout, encourage financial institutions to innovate services and support enterprises to "go global"; Third, give full play to the leverage guiding role of financial funds and drive financial capital to support the development of strategic, basic and leading industries; Fourth, encourage financial innovation products and services, and support the construction of the Made in China 2025 National Demonstration Zone; Fifth, evaluate and summarize the situation of industrial integration in pilot cities, put forward reform suggestions, and promote the reform of financial system and mechanism; The sixth is to promote enterprises to incorporate the content of production integration into strategic planning and management process reengineering, build industrial culture in the new period and enhance the soft power of enterprises.
(Author: Wang Xinzhe, chief economist of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology)