China will soon release a national regulation on improving the country's business climate by establishing a fundamental framework of rules to provide institutional safeguards for investment and business operations by all types of market players, domestic and foreign.
A draft of the regulation was adopted on Tuesday at the State Council's executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.
In light of the needs of market players, the new regulation focuses on transforming government functions, draws on advanced international standards and seeks to codify experiences and practices proven effective in past reforms.
"Introducing this regulation now is critical for consolidating the outcome of our reform transforming government functions. It is also a key measure for tackling downward economic pressure and attracting more foreign investment," Li said.
Measures protecting market players are highlighted in the new regulation approved on Tuesday. They include the right of market players to operate independently and to have their personal and property safety protected, and for all types of market players to have equal access to factors of production and national policy incentives. They also include institutional arrangements such as a sound mechanism of punitive compensation for victims of intellectual property infringement.
Stronger efforts will be made in transforming government functions. Market access will be further widened. A national unified negative list for investment will be applied. Government at all levels are required to make public the time required to apply for permits and certificates, opening bank accounts and obtaining electrical service, and other needs in starting a business.
Officials also said administrative approvals will be further streamlined. Strict review and control will be put in place for any new administrative approval, the new regulation says, so that no new administrative approval will be created arbitrarily.
A prudent yet accommodative regulatory approach is to be used for emerging industries.
"Solid, clarified requirements must be made for starting businesses and for decoupling business licenses from operation permits, cutting the number of items requiring administrative approvals, market entry and exit, effective oversight and improving government services. All this will send out positive signals to the market and contribute to a good image internationally," Li said.
Government services will become more transparent, officials said. Without solid legislative support, administrative regulations won't be allowed to interfere with the rights and interests of market players. Administrative regulations won't be issued without hearing from market players and industrial associations.
"Our reform in streamlining administration and delegating powers is an important measure in building an enabling business environment. We still have large potential in this regard. To transform government functions in a transparent and fair manner also suits our efforts in further reform and opening-up," Li said. "The delegation of government powers must help deliver greater efficiency while the improvement of government oversight must help ensure fairness."
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