Skyscrapers border the lush green landscaping in Shenzhen's central business district. (Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn)
Li calls for more effective energizing of market entities to maintain steady growth
China will roll out pilot programs on the business environment in several cities, in support of local reform efforts, to better benefit companies and individuals, a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang decided on Wednesday.
Pilot programs on the business environment will be launched in Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Hangzhou, Guangzhou and Shenzhen－cities with a relatively large number of enterprises. The goal is to better meet the needs of companies and the public and align with advanced international standards by deepening the reform of government functions.
"We need to further deepen the reform of government functions to improve the business environment and more effectively energize market entities," Li said. "During the first half of this year, 77,000 market entities were added on an average day. Revitalizing market entities is crucial for anchoring market expectations and maintaining steady economic performance."
The meeting required greater efforts to tackle regional compartmentalization and local protectionism. Unwarranted restrictions on cross-regional business operations will be lifted, and hidden barriers to nonlocal enterprises in such areas as government procurement will be eliminated, it decided.
Market entry and exit will also be made more convenient. In addition to the issuing of paper permits and licenses, electronic business licenses will be issued to make it easier for companies to conduct their affairs online.
Furthermore, the meeting decided, government departments will conduct a package assessment covering geological disaster risks and soil and water conservation before approving land use. This will enable enterprises to begin construction immediately after obtaining a land-use permit, without the need for duplicate assessments.
"We need to solve more issues that acutely affect market entities and better bring out the effect of the country's macro policies," Li said.
"The views of market entities should be better heeded. Companies, especially micro, small, and medium-sized ones, are facing many difficulties now. Their concerns must be taken most seriously. The government must work hard in fostering a market-oriented, world-class business environment governed by a sound legal framework," Li added.
Innovative and more effective regulation will be promoted. In areas concerning people's lives and health, such as food, medicine, vaccines and safety, a punitive compensation system will be implemented, and long-term mechanisms to prevent arbitrary charges, fines and apportionment will be established, the meeting decided.
System interconnection and data sharing between departments and localities will be expanded so that businesses can handle more matters online on a one-stop basis.
"We need to explore innovative oversight approaches, better bring out the exemplary role of the pilot programs and accumulate experience, so as to develop a unified and open, competitive and orderly market system," Li said.