China will continue to refine its business environment with more measures to be rolled out to cut red tape and facilitate investment, government officials said on Nov 9.
More reforms will be introduced to widen market access and facilitate investment and trade, said Zhou Xiaofei, deputy secretary-general of the National Development and Reform Commission, at a news briefing held by the State Council Information Office.
Zhou said the NDRC will further refine the evaluation mechanism for the business environment at local levels to spur local authorities to create a more inviting atmosphere for businesses.
The commission will conduct evaluations of the business environment of municipalities, provincial capitals and cities next year before rolling out the mechanism nationwide in 2020.
Xiong Maoping, head of the bureau for business registration at the State Administration for Market Regulation, said the authority will further cut licensing red tape for businesses, with more measures adopted to cut the time needed to start a business.
The time required to start a business in major cities will be cut to 8.5 days before the end of this year, and online access for such services will be further promoted.
Product categories requiring official licensing for production will be further cut, and the time required for patent registration will be shortened to six months, he said.
Tang Wenhong, head of the department of foreign investment at the Ministry of Commerce, said at the briefing that access restrictions for foreign investment outside the negative list will be cleared across the board before March.
A special oversight campaign will be conducted regarding the equal treatment of foreign-invested enterprises in areas such as government procurement, subsidies and required qualifications, he said.
Local authorities are also required to establish a provincial-level mechanism for filing complaints for foreign-invested enterprises, he added.
China’s efforts to improve its business environment were endorsed by the World Bank in a report released on Oct 31. The country advanced more than 30 spots to 46th place in the global rankings, making it one of the top 10 improvers in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2019: Training for Reform report.
China added over 45,900 foreign-invested businesses in the first nine months, up by 95.1 percent year-on-year. Foreign direct investment rose by 6.4 percent to $98 billion during the period, the Ministry of Commerce said.