POST TIME: 1 November, 2019 00:00 00 AM
China moves up in business climate rank
China Daily

China moves up in business climate rank

Staff (left) gives instruction to a citizen in Hebei Province’s Shenzhou City Administration Approval Bureau. ( X inhua)

China's business environment showed one of the strongest improvements worldwide in the 12 months ending May 1 thanks to its robust reform agenda, the World Bank Group said on October 24.

China's ranking in the World Bank Group's Doing Business 2020 study climbed to 31st place in terms of ease of doing business, up from 46th a year earlier and 78th in 2017, the bank said.

It was the second year that China joined the group of the world's top 10 most improved economies, mainly due to several business reforms, the report said.

"China has undertaken substantial efforts to improve the domestic business climate for small and medium-sized enterprises, maintaining an active pace of reforms," said Martin Raiser, World Bank country director for China.

"Laudable progress has been achieved on a number of Doing Business indicators, particularly in the area of construction permitting," Raiser said.

The report credited China with improving protections for investors, strengthening procedures for enforcing contracts and making trade easier with changes to customs administration and port infrastructure.

"Removing barriers facing entrepreneurs generates better jobs, more tax revenue and higher incomes, all of which are necessary to reduce poverty and raise living standards," World Bank Group President David Malpass said in a statement.

The World Bank highlighted some key reforms in the report including implementing a preferential corporate income tax rate for small enterprises, reducing the value-added tax rate for certain industries and enhancing the electronic filing and payment system.

Other key reforms included simplifying import and export procedures by implementing advanced cargo declarations, upgrading port infrastructure, optimizing customs administration and publishing fee schedules.

China has made strenuous efforts in recent years to improve its business environment.

The Ministry of Finance, for example, has jointly worked with other government departments, as well as the Beijing and Shanghai municipal governments, to clarify specific reform targets and policies to improve the business environment in recent years.

More than 130 reform measures have been taken so far, such as the protection of investors and improvements in processing construction permits, the ministry said.

China unveiled a regulation on October 23 to further improve its business environment and further open up its economy.

The regulation will offer market guarantees for companies investing or expanding their business in China. Equal treatment will be given to all market entities, whether foreign or domestic, by establishing basic institutional norms in the business environment, according to the new regulation.