China makes greater efforts to improve business environment

China will further improve its business environment by halving the time required to open a business and start construction projects, the State Council decided at an executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on May 2.

According to a decision at the meeting, the length of time required to start a business in municipalities, sub-provincial cities and provincial capitals will be reduced from an average of more than 20 workdays to 8.5 by the end of the year. This measure will also be introduced in five leading cities, Dalian, Qingdao, Ningbo, Xiamen and Shenzhen, with other areas also set to see positive progress, to be followed by national implementation in the first half of next year.

Measures to halve the time required for government approval of construction projects from the current average level of more than 200 workdays to 120 will be piloted in 15 cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin, and in Zhejiang province, this year, whereby all government review items and approval procedures concerning home building and urban infrastructure will be simplified, optimized and standardized. This pilot program will be rolled out nationwide in the first half of next year.

President Xi Jinping emphasized that we must do away with regulations and practices that impede the development of a unified market and fair competition, stimulate the vitality of all market entities and adopt policies to promote high-standard liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment.

Premier Li said that a good business environment is part and parcel of enhancing competitiveness and productivity. “In spurring economic growth, our focus needs to shift from investing in projects to improving the business environment. The key is to press ahead with the reform of government functions,” he said.

An estimate by the World Bank moved China up 65 spots between 2013 and 2017 in the ranking of ease of starting a business, and the length of time required was shortened from 33 days to 22.9.

(, by Xu Wei)