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Chongqing to Benchmark Business Environment against International Standards

By TRUMAN PENGICHONGQING|Sep 30,2020

 Chongqing- An action plan to optimize the city’s business environment in line with international advanced practices and standards was recently issued by the Chongqing Municipal People’s Government, in an effort to deepen commercial system reform, promote cross-border trade, and simplify tax services procedure, according to Wednesday’s press conference.

Li Maotao (L-3), deputy director of the Party Leading Group Office of the Municipal Development and Reform Commission, and Yang Guang (L-2), deputy director of the Municipal Market Supervision and Regulation Bureau, attend the press conference.

“The action plan is formulated to benchmark Chongqing’s business environment against leading international standards, promote domestic best practices, enhance relevant policies and measures, and to accelerate the building of a market-oriented, law-based and international business environment,” says the No. 112 gazette of the General Office of Chongqing Municipal People’s Government.

Li Maosheng, deputy director of the Party Leading Group Office of the Municipal Development and Reform Commission, said at the press conference that, “the action plan puts forward 30 reform tasks and 100 implementing measure, which focuses on the 11 key areas in a company’s entire life cycle, including business registration, operation permits, tax reports, SME protection, and credit financing.”

“The scale and depth of reform to optimize the Chongqing’s business environment is unprecedented … and the implementing measures are innovatively crafted and based on the city’s actual conditions,” Li added.

A screenshot from the Action Plan’s promotional video shows the international practices for doing business.

In answering iChongqing’s question about the city’s efforts in streamlining government service procedures for foreign-invested enterprises, Yang Guang, deputy director of the Municipal Market Supervision and Regulation Bureau, gave a brief yet easy-to-understand elaboration.

“We approached this issue from two different directions, online and offline,” Yang said, “an all-in-one online service platform has been introduced to address most of the procedures for foreign-invested companies; and for counter-only procedures, we introduced services such as appointment making, nearby acceptance, assisted application, instant approval, etc.”

For one, startup companies can now choose their own preferred entity names instead of waiting in line for approval from government authorities, for another, the number of certified registration centers has increased to ten, with six more yet to be approved by the State Administration of Market Regulation, Yang said.

What’s more, the reform measures also apply to residents from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, who are also eligible for business registration and application simply by showing their Exit and Entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao or Residence Permit for Hong Kong and Macao Residents.

Li Tianqi, a startup company applicant, using the Yukuaiban app’s facial recognition function for ID verification.

The detailed main tasks of the action plan entail such areas as easing business registration procedures, realizing “zero cost” of starting a business, simplifying deregistration process, deepening examination and approval system reform, deepening small-scale construction projects reform, enhancing quality control capacity, increasing electricity accessibility procedures, realizing “zero investment” for SMEs’ external connection, increasing transparency of electricity fares, easing immovable property registration, improving land administration quality, promoting unified movable assets registration, optimizing credit and financing services, building stronger financial system, promoting law-based corporate judicial interpretation, reducing tax application time, relieving tax burdens, promoting cross-border trade, reducing customs clearance time, lowering port expenses, optimizing import and export certification application, improving logistics efficiency, implementing stronger contract laws, reducing dispute resolving time, improving judicial procedure quality, increasing trial efficiency of insolvency cases, reducing cost of resolving insolvency, improving supporting mechanism for insolvency cases, improving the level of tendering digitization, strengthening tendering supervision, and conducting pilot projects for low-risk construction works.

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