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Doing business in China becomes easier, reports say

By Tan Xinyu | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-11-30 13:53
A staff member serves a customer at an enterprise service center in Pudong New Area, Shanghai, Aug 28, 2018. [Photo by Gao Erqiang/chinadaily.com.cn]

China's business environment has significantly improved, as results from two recent reports showed.

According to Shanghai Securities News, citing a report issued by the Academy of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade on Thursday, nearly 90 percent of 4,000 enterprises that participated in a survey felt it had become easier to do business in China over the past three years. As for this year, the surveyed firms, including private-owned, State-owned and foreign-owned companies across the country's 25 provinces and regions, were satisfied with the business environment in China, scoring 4.17 against the total five, up from 3.85 in 2016.

Noticeably, enterprises in central areas, wholly foreign-owned enterprises and hi-tech enterprises gave their highest-scored feedbacks.

At the end of October, World Bank's report also endorsed China's reform efforts to better its business environment for small and medium enterprises. As Doing Business 2019: Training for Reform report showed, China, the only economy from East Asia and the Pacific to join this year's top 10 improvers, jumped more than 30 spots to its highest ever ranking — 46th place in the annual global rankings.

And the report highlighted China's progress in areas, including starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, though dealing with construction permits in China still ranks at 121, with 20 procedures in order to obtain all permits and authorization to build a warehouse here, compared with an average of 15 procedures in East Asia and Pacific region.

"China has made rapid progress in improving its business climate for domestic small and medium enterprises in the past year. This progress, which now puts China among the top 50 economies in the world, signals the value the government places on nurturing entrepreneurship and private enterprise," said Bert Hofman, World Bank country director for China.

Yu Haiyan, deputy inspector of development research department at China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, told Shanghai Securities News that to create a business environment that is market-driven, law-based and up to international standards is still an important task for China at present and days ahead.

The State Council, China's cabinet, decided on Wednesday to set up a system for evaluating the business environment in China that is comparable internationally, aligned with World Bank standards and reflects Chinese features, with criteria covering areas of immediate concern to market entities, such as ease of opening a business, construction licensing, access to electricity and credit, paying taxes and the protection of intellectual property rights.

And relevant authorities and departments will be encouraged to come up with more measures for bettering the business climate.

Chinese government will eliminate all limits that go beyond the official negative list for foreign investment by the end of March next year, Tang Wenhong, an official with the Ministry of Commerce, said earlier, adding that the revision of two guidance catalogues for foreign investment will also be finished by the time.

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