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Council cuts red tape for businesses

By Xu Wei | China Daily | Updated: 2018-01-04 07:40

Measures approved to streamline administration, reduce burdens

China will work to better the business environment with measures that further streamline administration and reduce corporate burdens, under a decision made at a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday.

To further improve the business environment, the government will prioritize cutting red tape, taxes and fees. The negative list for market access will be implemented across the board. The "one-stop and one-form" application for record-filing and business registration of foreign-invested ventures will be introduced nationwide, it was decided at the meeting.

Enterprises of various ownerships will be treated the same way in qualification and approval, government procurement, major projects in science and technology and standards setting. Properties of various types will receive equal protection, and more efforts will be made to protect intellectual property rights.

In his report to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, General Secretary Xi Jinping said that China will sort through and do away with regulations and practices that impede the development of a unified market and fair competition, and will promote high-standard trade and investment liberalization and facilitation.

"We should improve the investment and market environment, make bigger strides in opening-up, reduce the cost of market functioning and create a stable, fair, transparent and predictable business environment. In this way we can speed up the development of new institutions of the open economy and promote sustained and sound economic growth," he said.

Premier Li Keqiang said that improving the business environment will help unleash productivity and enhance competitiveness, and that fostering a sound business environment will lay an important foundation for developing a modern economic system and promoting high-quality development.

"Greater efforts should be made in streamlining administration, enhancing compliance oversight and delivering better services to foster an internationally competitive business environment that provides equal treatment to domestic and foreign enterprises and stimulates the vitality of market entities and social creativity," he said.

In a 2017 World Bank report, China ranked 78th in ease of doing business-it was 96th in 2013.

The current government has taken a series of measures to cut red tape, reduce corporate burdens and improve the business environment. It has canceled or delegated administrative approval by State Council bodies on 697 items, accounting for 45 percent of the total. The government also cut 323 items, 74 percent of the total, from the list of intermediary services for administrative approval, and it canceled professional qualification and certification requirements for 434 items, more than 70 percent.

The meeting decided that more efforts will be made to slash or cancel fees paid by enterprises, including operational and service fees and those charged by sectoral associations and chambers of commerce. Costs for customs clearance will be lowered.

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