China to conduct on-site inspection over market entities, amid measures to optimize business environment
Published: Mar 14, 2024 10:05 PM
China issues guideline to spur growth of private economy with concrete measures

China issues guideline to spur growth of private economy with concrete measures

China's State Council, the country's cabinet, announced that it will conduct on-site inspections over market entities nationwide starting from April, as part of moves to continue optimizing the country's business environment, state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Thursday.

The State Council's online supervision platform will seek clues and advices from the society on a bunch of moves, which involve issues such as obstacles to market access and exit, fair competition infringement on the legitimate rights and interests of market entities, and hindrance to further opening-up.

It also listed a number of scenarios, including local government not interfering into economic disputes between enterprises, arbitrary restricting the freedom of private entrepreneurs, as well as taking discriminative measures on foreign enterprises.  

"For important clues provided by market entities and the public that show characteristic of universality and typicality, we will send staffs to investigate. And once those clues are proven true, we will seriously handle the matter investigate relevant issues or refer them to the relevant authorities for investigations in accordance with laws and regulation," according to the report, which cited a notice from the State Council General Office.

The announcement comes after the work report of the Standing Committee of the 14th National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, on Friday pledged to accelerate the formation of laws aimed at promoting the development of the private sector. 

The 2024 Government Work Report also stressed the importance to foster a world-class business environment that is market-oriented, law-based, and internationalized and strive to build a high-standard socialist market economy.

Experts say that optimizing business environment is an important measure to boost market confidence, stimulate market vitality and enhance the driving force of economic development. The latest efforts are also part of solid actions that refute some Western media and politicians spreading rumors about "China's deteriorating investment environment."

Wang Peng, an associate research fellow at the Beijing Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Thursday that creating a fair, efficient, trustworthy, stable and orderly and predictable business environment has become an inevitable choice for promoting high-quality regional economic development.
Zhou Dewen, a deputy director of the China Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, told the Global Times on Thursday that business environment in China has been tightened due to some reasons, including a decline in confidence among private enterprises against the fallout of COVID-19 pandemic, pressure for transformation and upgrading, fierce competition and relentless suppression from the West.

He suggested that the country to further optimize the business environment by accelerating the construction of digital government, optimizing the digital business environment, and improving the efficiency and level of key areas such as market competition, factor support, expanding opening-up measures and enhancing legal protection.

Many local governments have drawn up a road map and launch a series of measures to optimize the business environment, creating a favorable investment environment for overseas investors, promoting fair market competition and protecting the legitimate interests of private businesses and entrepreneurs.

For instance, South China's Guangdong Province has attracted a large number of major foreign investment projects worth billions of dollars. Data shows that in January, the number of newly established foreign-invested enterprises in Guangdong increased by 106 percent year-on-year, according to local media reports.

Meanwhile, continuous efforts in high-level opening-up cannot be achieved without the continuous optimization of the business environment, Li Yong, a senior research fellow at the China Association of International Trade, told the Global Times on Thursday.

China's opening-up, improved business environment has boosted foreign investor confidence. In 2023, the number of newly established foreign-invested enterprises reached 53,766 in the Chinese mainland, representing a growth of 39.7 percent year-on-year, according to data from the Ministry of Commerce.