to accelerate commercialization of results as China tries to form a more market-oriented economy.”
Jim Hurd of the GreenScience Exchange observed that a private incubator in Beijing was started by Kai-Fu Lee, the former president of Google China. A second development, Mr. Hurd noted, is the evolution of foreign limited-partner venture capital firms in China. A new law is under discussion in the Pudong district of Shanghai to encourage the venture capital industry. He asked whether these developments also may be a source of cooperation between the United States and China.
Dr. Wessner asked how much money the Chinese government is investing to support small and midsized enterprises. He noted that the United States has the Small Business Innovation Research program, which provides almost $3 billion a year for early-stage funding. Dr. Wessner asked whether China has a similar program, and if so at what scale.
China’s central government has been investing in small and midsized high-tech companies since 2000 through a fund announced by former Premier Zhu Rongji, Mr. Yang explained. In its first year, the fund totaled RMB1 billion. The fund is managed by the Ministry of Finance. The Ministry of Science and Technology advises how to utilize the funds. Mr. Yang said he believes the fund has been increased to RMB 4 billion. However, this fund only represents the federal government’s investments, Mr. Yang noted. Local and provincial governments also provide funds for small and midsized enterprises.
Xu Jing, deputy division director of the Tariff Policy Department of the Ministry of Finance, asked how the U.S. government decides how to make such investments.
Mr. Bonvillian noted that defining the U.S. government role is very complicated because there are “so many different models in so many different sectors. So there is no simple answer.”