Premier Li Keqiang visits Dalian area of China (Liaoning) Pilot Free Trade Zone in Dalian, Northeast China’s Liaoning province, June 26, 2017.
China’s business environment must be further improved as an important means for responding to the complex external situations and promoting high-quality development, boosting market vitality and stimulating public creativity, Premier Li Keqiang said at the State Council executive meeting on Nov 28.
It was decided at the meeting that China will carry out evaluations of its business climate.
The World Bank’s recent report, Doing Business 2019, ranked China at 46, up 32 spots from 2017. And with a continuously improving business environment, as many as 18,000 new market entities are now registered in China on an average day, up from several thousand a few years ago.
The Premier also highlighted existing problems while affirming the achievements.
“Except for infrastructure development, soft environment must be further optimized to deliver tangible benefits to enterprises and maintain China’s status as a popular destination for investment from home and abroad,” he said.
The government’s efforts in recent years to streamline administration, enhance compliance oversight and provide better services have energized the market and played an irreplaceable role in safeguarding employment against downward economic pressure, the Premier said, adding that it was the efforts of workers that stimulated the vitality and creativity of market entities in the complex situation.
The Premier urged efforts to promote reform and opening-up, ease market access, abolish any arbitrary practices in fee collection or inspection, avoid unwarranted interference in business operations and continuously narrow the gap with world-class business environments.
The meeting urged faster extension nationwide of practices proven effective at local levels in facilitating business operations. Efforts in cutting reviewing requirements, simplifying permitting procedures, and lowering costs must also be intensified.
“To foster a more enabling business environment, the primary task is to widen market access, and second, to properly exercise supervision and oversight with no regulatory gaps, and even-handed oversight,” Premier Li said. “The government should create a fair environment for market entities, and promise them a long-term and stable expectation.”
The meeting agreed to support enterprises in participating in policy-making process related to the business environment, and foster a business environment that is market-driven, law-based and up to international standards.
The meeting also decided to set up a system for evaluating the business environment in China that is comparable internationally, aligned with World Bank standards and reflects Chinese features.
And the assessing criteria should cover areas of immediate concern to market entities, such as ease of opening a business, construction licensing, access to electricity and credit, paying taxes, filing for bankruptcy, and the protection of intellectual property rights.
The Premier said that improving the business environment requires comprehensive and systematic efforts, and authorities at all levels must consider it a priority for the coming year.