Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have become a major force in pushing forward China’s science and technology innovation, an official said Friday. 

SMEs currently account for 65 percent of the country’s all invention patents, 75 percent of corporate innovations and 80 percent of new product developments, Miao Wei, minister of industry and information technology, said at a seminar in Chengdu, the capital city of southwest China’s Sichuan province. SMEs comprise 99 percent of all firms, account for 60 percent of GDP and fiscal revenues and employ nearly 80 percent of the country’s population, Miao added. 

“SMEs have played an irreplaceable role in raising fiscal revenues, generating more jobs and improving the structure of the economy,” Miao said. 

Miao called on SMEs to improve technological innovation and strengthen cooperation with big firms so to become better able to withstand risks and adapt to the changing economy.He also pledged efforts to promote innovation in SMEs, strengthen their capabilities to fend off risks and boost the development of small and micro-sized companies.