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Business first as region is inspired by premier domestic trading hubs

Updated: Mar 10, 2021 By YUAN SHENGGAO China Daily Print
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Zhanjiang in South China's Guangdong province has launched a campaign to improve its business environment, pledging to learn from the best and be attentive to businesses.

The campaign, running from February to December, will draw on the experience of the country's top business destinations including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

The central government expects Zhanjiang to become an important area of growth on the country's coastal economic belt. The Guangdong provincial government has tasked the city with serving as a subcenter of the province and rolled out policies to support its development. This presents a golden opportunity for Zhanjiang, local officials said.

"If we can't seize this great opportunity and make use of the good policies, we will definitely regret it, "Zheng Renhao, Party secretary of Zhanjiang, was quoted as saying by local media. "We must regard improving the business environment as the lifeline of economic development."

Zeng Jinze, mayor of Zhanjiang, told local media that despite seeing continued progress in its business environment, the city still has room to improve, compared with more developed regions in the country.

By making it a priority to improve the business environment, Zeng said Zhanjiang is striving to become an ideal destination for investors and innovators, and a great place to live.

The campaign will focus on eight aspects including redesigning and streamlining administrative processes, breaking down barriers among departments, building a credit system and attracting investment.

The city seeks to fix weak links in 18 aspects including business setup, property registration and cross-border trading, which are seen as among the most important indicators for assessing the attractiveness of a business destination.

For instance, five separate procedures for starting a business, such as obtaining a business license and company seal, will be merged into one. Entrepreneurs can complete the five procedures by filling out a single form and submitting it to one service window.

Also, the number of procedures for registering real estate will be cut to one. The processing time will be shortened to one day.

The time needed for clearing imports through customs will be made shorter than the provincial average, and that for exports will be slashed to 2.5 hours.

For businesses faced with pressing and difficult problems, the local government has promised to help solve them in a timely manner and serve their needs like an attentive waiter, according to local media.

Li Zhong, chairman of Zhanjiang Guolian Aquatic Products, welcomed the campaign.

"A guideline of strategic importance like the action plan (for the campaign) is something Zhanjiang urgently needs, as it seeks to generate growth through developing its real economy in the next five to 10 years," Li told Zhanjiang Daily.

Mo Shuijing, chairman of Zhanjiang Bokang Marine Biological, told the city newspaper he believes the campaign will "greatly improve the local business environment". He added that he hopes government departments will continue to reinforce their service orientation.

Mo suggested more policies be introduced to support Chinese brands with regional characteristics and technological achievements that have gained government approval to develop as an industry.

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