Over the next three years the central government will invest 10 billion yuan ($1.45 billion) via a special fund to support the development of 200 economic development zones, the People's Daily Overseas Edition reported.

A total of 600 "little giants" or industrial leaders will be cultivated in three years, according to an action plan jointly released by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Finance and the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council. The MIIT said "little giants" were companies with annual revenue of 100 to 400 million yuan and annual profit growth of at least 10 percent. More importantly, R&D or innovation staff must account for more than 15 percent of their total workforce.

The country will also encourage no fewer than 50 economic development zones to build special platforms promoting coordinated development of small, medium and large-sized enterprises. According to the three-year action plan, this aims to implement the central government's decision, create better conditions and boost new development for small and medium-sized enterprises. At present, small, medium and large-sized enterprises are not independent entities any more, but connected with innovation and entrepreneurship, said Wang Jiangping, vice-minister of industry and information technology.

Large enterprises should share their expertise with SMEs, allowing the latter to upgrade rapidly in a new industrial form. Innovation achievements would then flow back to the former, injecting new vitality into large enterprises. So far, 36 economic development zones have obtained approval to build special carriers to promote coordinated development of small, medium and large-sized enterprises, and this project will be promoted in the future, Wang added.

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