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Operators to enjoy greater freedom
By Liu Li (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-05-26 22:53

Two local regulations supervising foreign investment in Beijing were proposed for abolition Wednesday by the Beijing municipal government to the Standing Committee of the Beijing Municipal People's Congress.

The Beijing Municipal Regulation on Calculation of Foreign Enterprises and the Beijing Municipal Regulation on Dismissing Foreign Enterprises were put forward to the city's top legislative body over conflicts with the nation's World Trade Organization (WTO) responsibilities and other factors.

"According to China's promise to the WTO over a unified legal system, legislation over foreign trade should not be done by the local people's congress," Zhou Jidong, director of the Legal Affairs Office of the Beijing municipal government said Wednesday.

He said relevant issues stipulated in the regulation for dismissing foreign enterprises are clearly laid out in the Law on Foreign-capital Enterprises, the Law on Chinese and Foreign Equity Joint Ventures and the Law on Chinese and Foreign Contractual Co-operative Enterprises.

Zhou noted that two administrative licensing items stipulated in the foreign enterprise calculation regulation are against a regulation issued by the State Council and should be abolished.

Meanwhile, two other municipal regulations and 59 stipulations over administrative licensing in another 31 local regulations were also involved in the government's proposal for abolition.

"They are against the Law on Administrative Licensing, which will go into effect on July 1," Zhou explained Wednesday.

The other two regulations are the Beijing Municipal Telecommunications Regulation and the Beijing Municipal Administrative Regulation over Road Supervision. The four regulations were all originally adopted by the Standing Committee of the Beijing Municipal People's Congress.

The 59 administrative licensing items prescribed in local legislation, which were proposed by local government officials for abolition, are among 174 items that government has agreed to remove ahead of July 1.

They include employment licensing for migrant workers, safety certification over house rentals to migrant workers and rules governing allowing these rentals.

Taxi drivers and minibus operators are also expected to not need to ask for permission to open businesses in the capital, as well as road transportation entrepreneurs from outside of Beijing.

There are a total of 308 items on administrative licensing set forth by local authorities in Beijing, sources said.

The local government's proposal will be voted on by members of the Standing Committee of the Beijing Municipal People's Congress today.

At Wednesday's conference of the legislators, Gao Zuozhi, Chairman of the Financial and Economic Committee of the municipal People's Congress, urged a fair competition environment for private enterprises.

"Some industries are still not open to non-public businesses," he pointed out.

Gao also pushed the establishment of a credit system for private enterprises to help ease difficulties in their financing.

The chairman made the remarks in response a report by Zhang Zhikuan, director of the Beijing Municipal Bureau for Industry and Commerce on the development of private economy.

There are over 186,800 private enterprises in Beijing by last year, 80 per cent more than the figure of 2000, according to Zhang.

Tax funds registered at 8.4 billion yuan (US$1 billion) were donated by private enterprises in 2003, 5.2 per cent of the city's total figures.

The Standing Committee of the Beijing Municipal People's Congress Wednesday reviewed the local method to implement its Water Law for the second time and it will be voted on Thursday.

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