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More measures coming to brighten biz climate

By Ouyang Shijia Source: China Daily Updated: 2024-02-07


High-rises dominate the skyline on both sides of the Huangpu River in Shanghai. [Photo by Gao Erqiang/China Daily]

Foreign investors, unified market in focus as plans afoot to advance reforms

China will take a number of measures to improve its business environment and attract more foreign investment, in order to strengthen the drive for high-quality economic development, officials said on Monday.

Xiao Weiming, deputy secretary-general of the National Development and Reform Commission, the country's top economic regulator, said China will further improve institutional rules conducive to the construction of a unified national market.

"We will actively and steadily advance reforms in key areas such as finance, taxation and statistics, including studying and improving local tax systems," he said at a news conference in Beijing on Monday.

China, he said, will also conduct in-depth rectification of prominent issues in key areas and continuously report typical cases for new achievements in the construction of a unified national market, creating a favorable business environment for various types of operating business entities.

Meng Wei, director of the NDRC's Department of Laws and Regulations, highlighted the importance of fostering a market-oriented, law-based and internationalized business environment, calling for effective measures to address key issues faced by enterprises.

She said the measures include eliminating various unreasonable restrictions to better uphold fair competition, improving top-level design to better protect legal rights and facilitating cross-border investment to enhance institutional opening-up.

This year, the country will enact policies to address outstanding issues in optimizing the law-based business environment. Assessments of consistency in macro policies will be strengthened to create a stable and transparent institutional environment devoid of negative surprises, Meng said.

Addressing concerns of foreign enterprises regarding market access and industrial cooperation, Meng said the country will introduce an action plan to attract and utilize foreign investment more effectively. Measures will also be taken to further reduce the negative list for foreign investment as well as remove restrictions on foreign investment in the manufacturing sector.

China has already made great strides in creating a favorable environment for all types of business entities. As of the end of January, amid China's push to seek private investment in thousands of local government projects through a national unified platform established last year, the private sector has participated in 1,591 such projects worth 1.98 trillion yuan ($275 billion) in all, NDRC data showed.

With a series of measures to stabilize the economy and promote development taking effect, China's business entities have experienced a positive resurgence. As of the end of 2023, there were 184 million business entities in all, including over 32 million newly established ones. More than 10 million new companies were registered last year, up around 16 percent.

Ren Duanping, an official with the State Administration for Market Regulation, said the administration will take further steps to end unjustified charges levied on businesses as well as rectify unfair market competition and market intervention behavior, in a move to stimulate the vitality of market entities and strengthen their internal driving force.