China to launch pilot reform project on business environment in six cities

A worker piles commodities at a transfer warehouse of the phase I project of a supply chain base built under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative in Lianyungang, east China’s Jiangsu province, August 9, 2021. (Photo by Geng Yuhe/People’s Daily Online)

According to a recent guideline issued by China’s State Council, Six Chinese cities will launch a pilot reform project to improve business environment.

The six cities are respectively Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen.

Lu Xiangdong, an official from the General Office of the State Council, introduced that the guideline was issued after the State Council solicited a wide range of opinions from market entities and relevant parties and held in-depth discussions. Over 100 reform measures in 10 fields were raised, the official added.

The six cities were selected for the reform project because they have a complete industrial system and a large size of market entities, and they have built a solid foundation for reform after having gone through a series of positive explorations, Lu explained.

Besides, the six of them include municipalities, cities under separate state planning and provincial capitals located on both the east and west of the country, the official introduced, adding that the six cities have their own advantages and characteristics. Lu said that the pilot reform project will play a bigger catalytic role in these cities.

To gain experiences that can be replicated in other regions of China is a fundamental requirement of the pilot project, so that the Chinese business environment can be constantly improved, Lu said. The project will be advanced stably and orderly with appropriate orders, pace, and steps, he added.

The guideline aims to break the systematic and institutional barriers that prevent the investment of market entities, stabilize market expectation and promote the stable operation of the economy.

Following the guideline, the governments of the six cities also tailored measures to facilitate enterprises and the people to the maximum extent.

Wang Hong, vice mayor of Beijing, introduced that the guideline has rolled out a large batch of reform measures that are targeted and effective, and concerned mostly by enterprises. These measures, upon implementation, will indeed better facilitate corporate services and entrepreneurship for Beijing enterprises, she said.

Shanghai’s vice mayor Wu Qing noted that Shanghai, taking the opportunity of the pilot project, will invest more energy in its services for market entities to make more policies benefiting the enterprises, including the one that enables eligible enterprises to enjoy preferential treatment without application.

Executive vice mayor Zhang Yong of Guangzhou said the guideline addresses the whole-life-cycle of market entities, and Guangzhou, as the only pilot field for the reform of intellectual property (IP) utilization and protection, will cater to the demands of enterprises, optimize the service system of IP mortgage, and improve the market-oriented IP pricing and trading mechanism, so as to constantly expand the sources of financing for small- and medium-sized enterprises.

To further revitalize market confidence and timely respond to the concerns of market entities, relevant departments have raised a series of high-value reform measures.

With regard to the facilitation of market access and operation, e-business licenses have been made for all 150 million registered market entities across China, including enterprises, individual businesse,s and farmers’ cooperatives. These licenses can be downloaded, shown, and printed anytime and anywhere.

Yang Hongcan, an official in charge of business registration at the State Administration for Market Regulation, introduced that the administration will keep promoting the cross-region, cross-level, and cross-industry application of e-business licenses, so as to expand application scenarios, improve the service system, and make e-business licenses a tool to facilitate market entities.

The Department of Laws and Regulations of the National Development and Reform Commission  (NDRC) will work with relevant departments to encourage the pilot cities to implement land-use list reform of social investment projects, align investment approval reform with the reforms in land use, environment evaluation, energy conservation, and construction application, and enhance the sharing of application data, so as to further improve investment facilitation, said Yang Jie, head of the department.

The NDRC will encourage and support the pilot cities to make the whole procedures of bidding electronic, and establish and improve an early-release system for bidding information, to build a market environment that treats Chinese and foreign enterprises equally.

The NDRC will also work with relevant departments on the credit repair of reorganizing enterprises, establish a sharing system for bankruptcy information, and explore a path to offer bidding, financing, and letters of guarantee for eligible bankrupted enterprises amid the reorganization.

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