A SENIOR party leader has called on state-owned firms to learn from the experience of rural enterprises, to enhance their operations. Politburo Standing Committee member, Mr Qiao Shi, made the remarks after visiting some enterprises during a tour of the Pearl River Delta region, including Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shunde and Nanhai. The New China News Agency quoted Mr Qiao as saying some operating mechanisms of rural enterprises could be adopted by state-owned firms, most of which were running in the red. This would facilitate reforms of state-owned enterprises, to enhance their efficiency and the quality of their products, he said. In the long run, Mr Qiao said, the reforms would enable the state-owned enterprises to increase their competitiveness in markets. Mr Qiao, the newly-elected chairman of the National People's Congress, urged cadres in Guangdong to offer their experience in the development of rural enterprises in the region to state-owned firms. He emphasised the importance of grooming more young cadres who could ''straddle the century'', saying this was the key to strengthening the leadership of the ruling party. The party leader also said economically prosperous regions must strive to ensure the development of spiritual civilisation proceeded apace with economic growth, while education and cultural development should be boosted to upgrade the quality of the people. Mr Qiao stressed that measures for a comprehensive crackdown against crimes should be put into practice to nurture a peaceful social environment for economic development. He underscored the importance of speeding up the making of economic laws, which he said was vital for the development of democracy and the legal system, as well as the establishment of a socialist market economy.