China’s efforts to accelerate the building of a top-ranking business environment that features internationalization, rule of law and convenience since the beginning of this year have yielded more and more fruits, significantly benefiting market entities while laying a solid foundation for high-quality economic development.
“I couldn’t believe it. The whole process only took about half an hour,” exclaimed a woman surnamed Zhang in Beijing, disclosing that she submitted an application for a business license via the online service platform for business registration at 17:46, and at 18:22 received a short message informing that her application for her catering business license has been examined and approved.
“We are now able to ensure that applicants can get their business license within one day and receive invoices on the same day they submit the application,” said Han Fei, director of market supervision administration of Dongcheng District, Beijing, explaining that it used to take 5 working days to start a business in Beijing, while now the whole procedure can be finished within one working day.
Endeavoring to accelerate the building of a national online platform for comprehensive online approvals and services, and encourage in-depth implementation of Internet-based government services, China has managed to reduce the time needed for such services as starting a business, application and installation for water and electricity facilities, real estate registration by more than 50 percent.
On April 1, 2019, China officially rolled out its deepened value-added tax (VAT) reform. It is one of the major measures the country has taken to promote tax and fees cuts and is expected to realize a reduction in tax burdens of enterprises of over 1 trillion yuan (about $145.3 billion).
“Our VAT this April was cut by more than 1.2 million yuan, while the total reduction for the year will reach 8 million yuan. Besides, since the individual income tax reform has enabled our employees to put more into their pockets, they are now full of vigour and working harder,” said Ding Peijin, general manager of a machinery company in east China’s Shandong Province.
Efforts at expanding market access for foreign investment in broader areas, strengthening international cooperation on intellectual property protection, increasing imports of goods and services have made Chinese market one of the world’s most popular destinations for foreign investment.
In the first half of this year, China has witnessed continuous improvement in the structure of foreign investment, with actual use of foreign investment in high-tech industries rising by 44.3 percent on a year-on-year basis while accounting for 28.8 percent of the total amount of foreign capital actually used in the country.
Also, to safeguard fair competition and create a sound market environment, China has spent great efforts to promote the establishment of fair competition review and impartial regulation systems.
By the end of this February, the country had put an end to and revised a total of over 20,000 documents concerning local protection, designated transactions, and market access barriers.
Among its efforts to enhance the rule of law in the Chinese market, the country adopted a new trademark law, which raised the upper limit of the amount of indemnity for malicious infringement from three times to five times the amount of actual losses, which is a large amount by global standards, according to Shen Changyu, head of China’s National Intellectual Property Administration.
During this year’s annual session of the National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature, the country’s Foreign Investment Law was adopted, further solidifying China’s commitment to creating a market environment where companies from both home and abroad are treated as equals and compete on a level playing field.
“The Foreign Investment Law has made the management model based on pre-establishment national treatment and negative list incorporated into China’s legislation for the first time, which is critical to stabilizing foreign investors’ expectations and confidence of the market,” said Gao Yan, CEO of ThyssenKrupp China.
“China’s great business environment is playing an important role in increasing enterprises’ profits, stabilizing market expectations, encouraging export and attracting foreign investment, which accords well with the supply-side structural reform, stimulates the vitality of market entities, thus adding momentum of growth to Chinese economy,” noted Hu Yijian, director of the institute of public policy and governance, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics.
In the annual doing business report released by the World Bank in October 2018, China ranked 46th in the world for ease of doing business, up 32 spots from the previous year, becoming one of the economies realizing the biggest improvement in business environment.