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Beijing to improve business environment over next five years

Updated: Sep 22, 2021 By LI YOU China Daily Print
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A staff member introduces the intelligent holographic display at a new government affairs service center in the eastern area of Beijing. ZOU HONG/CHINA DAILY

Beijing's role as China's capital plays a crucial part in attracting overseas investment, and so the city government has outlined its major tasks and goals for the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25).

Dai Ying, deputy director of Beijing Development and Reform Commission, announced the government's plan for optimizing the city's business environment over the next five years, at a news conference held on Sept 8.

The central goal is that Beijing becomes a world-class center for business, with optimized efficiency, services, standards and integrity.

Key elements of this goal are five core strategies of improving the market, the judicial system, investment and trade, administrative services and social welfare.

It is the first five-year plan targeting the business environment directly, to be rolled out by the Beijing municipal government. It is also the first such plan proposed by a provincial-level government in China, demonstrating Beijing's determination to have a first-class business environment, Dai said.

Less than a week earlier, on Sept 2, the central government announced a new stock exchange to be established in Beijing, building it into a major platform for small and medium-sized enterprises.

Noting the huge opportunities surrounding the new stock exchange, Dai said that further action is needed to perfect Beijing's market environment and encourage fair competition.

To develop a better socialist market economy, the Beijing municipal government has proposed 50 support working mechanisms and 113 reform measures.

Fang Baoqing, deputy head of Beijing municipal administration for market regulation said the city will accelerate the construction of the supervision system and further regulate the market order, tackling monopolies and unfair competition.

"We will strengthen law enforcement against unfair competition in key areas, continue to crack down on unfair competition and some misbehaviors that may cause market disruption, false publicity, commercial bribery, infringement of trade secrets and damage to the reputations of business rivals," Fang said.

Dai emphasized the city's need for a freer and more convenient investment and trade environment, and set out that it should be achieved during the 14th Five-Year Plan.

She said key conduct standards will be implemented to serve national and local policies such as dual circulation-prioritizing domestic consumption while remaining open to international trade and investment-and Beijing's construction of "two zones"-a comprehensive development zone for the service sector and a pilot free trade zone.

Beijing has initiated 14 supporting mechanisms and 52 reform measures serving the two dimensions of promoting international investment and foreign trade, Dai said.

In promoting the innovative development of foreign trade, the Beijing government will make greater efforts to explore better integration with the international market through measures such as streamlining customs clearance procedures, reducing customs clearance costs, establishing trade alliances and building up a cross-border trade information service hub.

Regarding the improvement of administrative services, the Beijing government has implemented 23 supporting policies, eight platforms and 74 reform measures, to satisfy local enterprises and help to construct a more service-oriented government.

Liu Qiang, deputy director of the Beijing government affairs service bureau, said at the news conference that during the 14th Five-Year Plan, Beijing will build a government affairs service system that is easy to use and with a high-rate of satisfaction for enterprises and residents.

On the digital front, the government will deepen data sharing and collaboration using new-generation information technology and digital government services.

The city has outstanding innovation resources, with 92 universities, more than 1,000 scientific research institutes and 120 State key laboratories, Liu said. There are 93 unicorn companies-startups valued at over $1 billion-and 117 startups with the potential to become unicorns; both figures rank first in the world.

To serve the comprehensive goals of the 14th Five-Year Plan set by the city, an open and inclusive cultural environment is also on the way, Dai said.

The Beijing government will initiate an urban renewal campaign, upgrade the function of old factories and industrial parks, and provide a high-quality development space for high-tech enterprises and the creative culture industry.

"Holding fast to the ideas and methods of reform will make it possible to break down the obstacles rooted in the deep-seated system and launch another series of breakthroughs in institutional innovation and strengthen the effect of reform," Dai said.

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