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Japan's growth strategy includes steps to promote mergers among SME's

Daniel Leussink
·1 min read

By Daniel Leussink

TOKYO, Dec 1 (Reuters) - Japan will consider giving subsidies and tax breaks to small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) to help them restructure and adjust to a post-coronavirus world, an interim report of the government's economic growth strategy showed on Tuesday.

The government should also consider extending until March a zero-interest-rate loan scheme aimed at easing corporate funding strains that expire this month, the report said.

The interim report, which is usually released in December each year and was presented at the Growth Strategy Council on Tuesday, said specific steps should be taken to promote mergers and acquisitions as well as business transformation of SMEs.

The plan also laid out other measures broadly aimed at improving labour force productivity that can help foster an environment favourable to wage raises, such as digitalisation.

It stopped short of setting a target for raising the nation's overall labour productivity.

It also called for promoting environmental-friendly innovation, a move that comes as the government aims to cut greenhouse gases to zero by 2050 and become a carbon-neutral society.

Another suggestion was to submit a law amendment next year that would allow companies to hold annual general meetings completely online, a change which would no longer make organising physical ones a requirement.

(Reporting by Daniel Leussink; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa)