Pilot programs to improve business climate in six cities rolled out

China is ready to roll out its pilot reform project for improving the business climate in six cities in an effort to further build a market-oriented, international business environment governed by a sound legal framework. Lu Xiangdong, an official from the General Office of the State Council – the Chinese central government – said that the six cities are Beijing; Shanghai; Chongqing; Hangzhou; Guangzhou and Shenzhen. According to Lu, more than 100 reform measures regarding 10 aspects of the business climate will be implemented. Reforms include a more efficient mechanism for businesses to gain market access and to exit, further facilitating cross-border trade, and consolidating the process of compliance. The six cities have been selected for this pilot project because of certain advantages, such as having a relatively complete industrial system and larger scale of market entities. The reforms will directly cater to the needs of business and will help the service sector grow, Lu said. “For this round of reform, it is important that experiences gained from the pilot cities are replicable for nationwide implementation,” he added.

Vice Mayor of Shanghai Wu Qing said the city has worked hard to further improve business-related government services for medium and small businesses (SMEs) and is using big data to better empower inclusive finance. Reforms also include the process of starting a business, getting electricity, paying taxes and enforcing contracts, Wu said. More reforms are in the pipeline, facilitating investment, government credit and legal protection. “From January to October this year, the city of Shanghai has newly registered 447,000 market entities, up by 16.8% year-on-year,” Wu said, “Going forward, we will see this round of reform as an opportunity to make the business climate more enabling, so that businesses can rest assured and feel convenient about their operations here,” according to Shanghai Vice Mayor Wu Qing, as reported by the China Daily.

The government had already reached its target of creating at least 11 million urban jobs this year. Premier Li Keqiang said China’s macro policies will continue to center on the nation’s over 150 million market players, which are the source of China’s economic resilience and potential and which support the fundamentals of the job market. The government will continue to offer a level playing field for businesses of various types of ownership to enable them to create more jobs and help workers increase their incomes, he said.