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Premier Li calls for more unnecessary licenses to be cut

Updated: Apr 28,2017 7:10 AM

Further efforts should be made to cancel business certifications and licenses with no legal basis, according to Premier Li at the State Council executive meeting on April 26.

Half a year after the business registration reform of “integrating five licenses into one”, the recent State Council executive meeting decided to consolidate more certifications and licenses into one business license. The meeting also decided to reduce pre-setup approvals to further reduce institutional costs for market entities and stimulate market vitality.

Such business system reform is a major task in this year’s government work report, which, according to the Premier, will not only create a more convenient environment for entrepreneurship, but also increase labor productivity.

Many countries are carrying out policies to optimize the business environment by simplifying registration procedures and reducing taxes.

Against such a backdrop, China should have a sense of urgency to optimize its own business environment by enhancing reforms streamlining administration and delegating power to lower-level governments and strengthening regulation, the Premier said.

Data from the World Bank shows China’s business environment ranking for 2016 moved up 18 positions from 2013, and its rating for ease of doing business rose 31 positions in the same period.

That suggests China’s efforts to create a convenient environment for business has paid off.

Recent data supports the development as more than 40,000 new businesses opened in China each day. Online user’s satisfaction rate with the market access environment in the first quarter reached 99.5 percent.

China’s business environment has been improved with enhanced reforms in recent years but it still has a huge potential, Premier Li said at the meeting.

Talking about his inspection tour of Shandong last week, Premier Li emphasized the role of people’s creativity in pushing forward the transformation and upgrading of traditional enterprises.

“Deepening the business registration reform and cutting administrative procedures will not only create a favorable and convenient environment for setting up businesses, but improve productivity,” Premier Li said.

He added that all the departments should carry out the reform without compromises, so as to provide more development space for entrepreneurship and innovation.

At the State Council executive meeting, the government made another step in loosening its grip on the market, allowing a faster and more convenient process for setting up businesses. Until now, 87 percent of the 226 pre-setup approval items have been removed or replaced by post-approvals.

Premier Li also spoke highly of the online administrative procedure in Weihai city, Shandong province, that has significantly improved its efficiency. He urged better information-sharing and coordination between departments to avoid repetition in submitting identical registration information.

“Delegating power and proper regulation are complementary for each other. So to further promote the administrative reform, supervision should be strengthened to oversee registration and post-registration procedures,” Premier Li said.

All the departments should regard the public interest as their top priority, and deepen the business registration reform in an effort to lower the institutional transaction costs for people and enterprises, concluded the Premier.