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Market manages economy more in streamlined govt

By Zhan Lisheng in Guangzhou | China Daily | Updated: 2013-12-31 07:06

Guangdong's efforts to streamline administrative procedures and alleviate government intervention in the market are drawing positive remarks from business people across the province.

One of them is Hubert Xu, president of Guangzhou CDC Group, a firm offering integrated services to foreign investors.

"We started an industrial property company just a few days ago. And we were really surprised, and of course pleased, to get the business license so soon," he told China Daily in a recent interview.

"The efficiency was much higher than we expected," he said, attributing it to the reform of business registration procedures that the Guangzhou government initiated in September.

"The reform of business registration procedures is undoubtedly a benefit for a company," Xu said. Among many other changes, it exempts a business from getting a permit before applying for a license and meeting paid-in capital requirements.

Governor Zhu Xiaodan said "Guangdong has cut and streamlined administrative verifications and approvals strictly as required by the State Council in the past year".

"A total of 508 administrative approval requirements have been abolished, placed under control of subordinate governments, or entrusted to other organizations," he added.

According to a reform plan for managing corporate investment that took effect in March, the province will axe verifications and approvals by about 70 percent and shorten the whole administrative procedure by about 50 percent by 2015.

Guangdong's administrative reform follows the principle that items that can be self-regulated by the market and society are absolutely exempted from administrative approval.

Functions that can be undertaken by social organizations are transferred, as are those that can be done by lower-level governments, Nanfang Daily reported recently.

And some city or district governments have even made public the list of what they can and cannot do so people have a good understanding of the government's power limits.

In the view of Xiao Bin, a professor with Guangzhou-based Sun Yat-sen University's school of government, Guangdong's administrative reforms will help create a modern service-oriented government that steps away from micro-economic management.

But he suggested the government should strengthen its role in supervisory work to keep economic vigor and market order in balance.


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