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Thursday, April 27, 2017, 11:25

Business to get help from license change

By Hu Yongqi
Business to get help from license change
A visitor fills in paperwork at the service centre of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free-Trade Zone in Shanghai. (Peter Parks / AFP)

Many more certificates linked to business registration will be merged into one business license, helping enterprises to open and thrive more quickly, according to a State Council executive meeting presided over by Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday.

"We should focus on creating a globally competitive business environment and continuing business registration reform," Li said. "It's to reduce institutional costs for enterprises and cultivate an inclusive and fair playing field for mass entrepreneurship and innovation as more enterprises can be easily registered and flourish."

A guideline approved by the executive meeting said that as a significant measure to boost supply-side structural reform and administrative reforms, the consolidation will further transform governmental functions and unleash the benefits of reforms.

We should focus on creating a globally competitive business environment and continuing business registration reform

Li Keqiang, Chinese Premier

The document requires integration, simplification and abolition of certificates as much as possible, with a handful of exceptions involving safety and security concerns. Any business-related certificates and licenses lacking a statutory foundation or a legal set of procedures will be canceled.

READ MORE: China to further cut red tape for better business environment

The guideline aims to boost interdepartmental sharing of enterprises' basic information and credit data. Duplication in submitting identical information will be avoided. Integration of the internet with governmental services will be further boosted to improve approval efficiency.

Oversight will be strengthened and responsibilities will be clearly defined, while new supervisory procedures will be established emphasizing corporate credit ratings and systems.

The guideline encourages local governments to explore new ways to boost their rankings for facilitating business in line with international benchmarks.

The latest measures are a continuation of efforts in the past two years. Further consolidation was suggested in the Government Work Report that Li delivered in March.

ALSO: China announces tax reduction in favor of businesses

While numerous certificates still exist, government departments need to "give up petty benefits for greater achievements by adding more water to nourish fish in the pond", Li said, a metaphor for helping enterprises thrive with streamlined procedures.

More than 3.59 million new market entities were registered in the first quarter of this year, an increase of 19.5 percent compared with the same period last year, according to the State Administration for Industry and Commerce. Among them were 1.25 million new enterprises, up by 18 percent.

Li said implementation is the key. "To ease burdens for enterprises and for the sake of the people, governments at all levels should focus on improving services and strengthening compliance oversight with special focus on the last mile of service delivery," he said.

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