State Council executive meeting agrees to guarantee sound legal framework
China is ready to make greater efforts to tackle difficulties faced by market players in business operations, aiming to foster a world-class, market-oriented business environment governed by a sound legal framework, the State Council's executive meeting, chaired by Premier Li Keqiang, decided on Nov 27.
A regulation on bettering that environment, set to be implemented on Jan 1, draws on China's successful practices and experience in improving the business environment. The meeting urged departments to swiftly issue supporting measures and bring all existing ordinances and documents in line with the regulation by revising or repealing inconsistencies.
"Energizing the market is a key step in countering downward economic pressure. We will continue with tax cuts and reform of government functions for a better business environment," Li said. "With hard work in recent years, we have made notable progress in improving the business climate, which has been recognized by the international community," Li said. "Yet we must also recognize underperforming aspects and the big potential for improvement, like the big gap between the eastern, central and western regions and between urban and rural areas."
It was decided that administrative approval requirements will be further streamlined. A list of national-level review items will be created next year, and no such requirement beyond the list is allowed.
Time required for starting a business will be further shortened. The number of national vocational qualifications will be more than halved by the end of 2020. Market access will be further eased. Requirements on qualification, registered capital and business venues of market players in the services sector will be significantly relaxed. Unwarranted licensing requirements of for-profit medical and education institutions will be removed.
The meeting urged further overhauling of business-related charges. Discriminatory practices on market access and industrial subsidies on the grounds of ownership structure will be removed to promote impartial oversight. The practice of precommitment compliance will be fully rolled out.
"We must get our priorities right in improving the business environment. We should build on the good work in recent years regarding the starting of businesses and decoupling business licenses from operation permits, and scale up our efforts," Li said. "Government departments should resolutely deregulate, including cutting permit requirements and enhancing compliance oversight."