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Excerpts from State Council policy briefing on April 28

Updated: Apr 28,2017 10:05 PM

The business registration reform, along with the integration of business certifications and licenses, were two topics highlighted at the policy briefing held by the State Council on April 28.

Ma Zhengqi, the deputy director of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, and Wu Zhilun, head of the State Council Office of the Government Examination and Approval System Reform discussed new policies, and said, since the implementation of the reform in 2014, more than 13 million new businesses have opened in China, with 94.6 percent being private companies. Ma added the result also equaled to the total amount of registrations in the eight year lead-up to the reform.

As a significant part of the supply-side structural reform, the business registration reform was noted at the briefing as an important tool to streamline administration, delegate power to lower-level governing bodies and optimize administrative services.

At the State Council executive meeting on Oct 14, 2016, Premier Li Keqiang stressed that further efforts should be made to integrate business certifications and licenses into one consolidated business license.

As mentioned at the briefing, all improper procedures regarding business registration will now be streamlined, and business licenses, with a social credit codes, will become the only identification of a company. As a result, procedures will become more convenient and timesaving, and companies will only have to provide relevant materials at one location for administrative approval.

Ma added the State Administration for Industry and Commerce would then promote e-registration and e-business licenses across the country, and build a national enterprise credit information system to create a more convenient and fair business environment. Certifications related to business registration will now be sorted and merged into one license, and such move will further create a favorable environment for entrepreneurship, innovation, and improve labor productivity.

Governing officials at the recent briefing also discussed the implementation of the reform, which will be carried out before Oct 1, 2017.

“After the State Council executive meeting on Oct 14, 2014, efforts have been accelerated to further the business license reform and local governments have carried out trials of the reform on the basis of their local economic and social conditions,” Ma said.

Efforts should be made in information sharing, management coordination, and regulation among government departments, according to Ma.

The essence of the business license reform will strengthen information sharing and management coordination among government departments, bringing convenience to companies who apply for registration approvals at the government’s industry and business departments, he added.

Ma further spoke about the development of private economies boosting the urban and rural economy. He mentioned the move would create more jobs and optimize the economy structure, stating data indicated the market had 13 million new private companies registered — a growth of 86.3 percent compared with such numbers in 2013 — three years since the reform.

Ma said the business registration reform also helped to promote the development of foreign-invested companies, and the growth of foreign-invested companies had turned from a negative to a positive in the years since 2014, and momentum with only continue to get better.

Registered capital by foreign companies had a 47.5 percent year-on-year growth, and reached a total worth of $382.3 billion in 2016. Subscribed capital by foreign companies also had a similar result, growing 44.2 percent year-by-year and accumulating a total worth of $286.3 billion in 2016.

Wu Zhilun said the government confirmed it removed five pre-setup approval administrative items at the State Council executive meeting on April 26, 2017.

The five items include the establishment of pawnshops and their branches; the approval of joint-venture printing enterprises and foreign-invested decorating and printing enterprises; the setup of printing and publishing enterprises; the setup of permanent agencies by foreign airlines in China, and production permits of civil aviation products.

“Until now, 87 percent of the 226 pre-setup approval items have been removed or replaced by post-approvals,” Wu said.

Those efforts allow enterprises to first establish their companies and then to prepare for the application of special business licenses, such as the one required for running a restaurant.

The registration rate of food and drink businesses has largely increased thanks to such move, said Wu.