BEIJING — Premier Li Keqiang has demanded less red tape, improved regulation and better services to promote sustained and healthy development of the economy.
Premier Li made the remarks in a national teleconference on May 9.
Although China has made progress in streamlining administration, overhauling market regulation and optimizing government services, there is still much work to be done, said the Premier in a speech released on May 22.
According to him, some power delegation measures were not fully implemented. Unfair law enforcement, arbitrary inspections and inadequate supervision revealed loopholes in market regulation.
“Although the economy operated steadily in the first quarter, with improvements in structure and quality and better-than-expected indicators, downward pressure remains considerable and the foundation for economic stabilization and improvements has yet to be consolidated,” said Premier Li.
In addition, China’s traditional international competitiveness has been weakened, featuring decline in the growth rate of foreign trade and utilization of foreign capital, said the Premier.
“This is associated with changes in our resources, sluggish external demand and business environment,” said Premier Li, citing the relocation of some foreign-funded manufacturers from China to other countries.
“We should guide some of them to move from eastern coastal areas to the central, western and northeastern regions,” said Premier Li, adding that labor-intensive manufacturing enterprises could create jobs and help address China’s “great employment pressure”.
To that end, he said China will explore ways to implement pre-establishment national treatment and negative list management system for foreign investors.
The government will create a level playing field for all investors, said Premier Li, adding that the State Council is mulling detailed measures to promote private investment.
On the basis of trial programs, the government will make a market entry negative list and eliminate unreasonable restrictions and invisible barriers in sectors, including electricity, telecom, transport, oil and gas, utilities, elderly care, medical treatment and education.
Meanwhile, the Premier pledged to further slash administrative examinations and approvals, cut the process of establishing businesses and give colleges and scientific research institutes greater decision-making power in running schools and scientific research.
Over the past three years, State Council departments have canceled or delegated to lower authorities the administrative examination and approval power over 618 items, totaling 36 percent of the items subject to approval.
China has given green light to 76 percent of investment projects that previously required central government approval. More than 95 percent of foreign investment projects and more than 98 percent of overseas investment projects now could register online to put on record.
Since last year, an average of 40,000 businesses are set up every day, due to lowered business threshold and improved business environment.