China always on the way to improve business environment

By He Dingding from People’s Daily

Improvement of the business environment is an on-going process, and there is always room for things to become better, Chinese President Xi Jinping remarked in a speech delivered at the opening ceremony of the first China International Import Expo (CIIE).

Enterprises from around the world are tying the knot in Shanghai after the first CIIE opened on Nov. 5. Global entrepreneurs are very clear that China is a country with ever-growing market, emerging opportunities for consumption upgrading, as well as the composure to proactively open itself to the world.

However, the best attraction of the country is its efforts and pledge to foster a world-class business environment.

Facts are the best proof to China’s investment attraction. According to the report Doing Business 2019 released by the World Bank days earlier, the performance of China, with Beijing and Shanghai as samples, was eye-catching.

According to the report, it took only 9 days to open a new business in China, which is the same as that in high-income countries from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The time and cost spent to resolve commercial disputes in China were also less than those in high-income OECD members.

In addition, China is one of the only three countries in the world where the connection of electricity is free, with Japan and the United Arab Emirate being the other two.

This year, China moved up 32 places in the Doing Business Rankings in comparison to its performance last year. Its ranking was up by 50 places in the past five years.

In the first half of the year, nearly 30,000 foreign-invested enterprises were established in China, almost doubling the figure from a year ago. It showed that countries were more confident about the opportunities and market to be offered by China despite the changing situation of the global economy.

The long-term optimism of the foreign capital on the potential of the Chinese market came from the concrete and consistent efforts China made to deepen reform and opening up.

In recent years, China has mobilized efforts to build a stable, fair and transparent business environment, streamlined administration, delegated powers and improved administration, and made breakthroughs on fostering free trade zones (FTZs).

The progress was not a progress achieved in just this year, but a result of continuous efforts in reform over the years, said an official from the World Bank’s Global Indicators Group.

To improve business environment is nationwide move in China, and the driving force for this is largely out of the need for development, as well as the pressure from competition.

Labor force, materials and capital all flow to better business environment, rather than a worse one. For instance, after the Shanghai Free Trade Zone initiated the negative list for market access of foreign investment, other FTZs in the country followed suit. When the reform in Zhejiang to simplify administrative procedures took effects, similar reforms were instantly carried out nationwide.

For a long time, China has gained the favor of foreign investment thanks to tax reduction, as well as its resource and policy advantages. In the future, the country will put more efforts to improve services, credibility, and environment, provide an equal legal ground for foreign investment, and promote policy consistency, so as to maintain its long-term attraction to foreign investment.

The country will introduce the law on foreign investment at a faster pace, and institute an open and transparent system of foreign-related laws. It will implement, across the board, the management system based on pre-establishment national treatment and negative list, said Xi.

China respects international business rules and practice, and provides equal treatment to all types of businesses registered in China. It protects the lawful rights and interests of foreign companies, and is resolute in meting out, in a law-binding manner, punishment for violations of the lawful rights and interests of foreign investors, particularly IPR infringements, Xi added.

The country will enhance the credibility and efficiency of IP examination, and put in place a punitive compensation system to significantly raise the cost for offenders.

President Xi’s announcement at the CIIE is both an invitation to global enterprises and a mobilization order to Chinese governments at all levels.

An employee of Dell demonstrates artificial intelligence autopilot technology. Photo by Bai Zhiyu from People’s Daily