Shanghai cuts red tape to help business owners

Shanghai has made efforts in improving business environment and will further push it forward, according to the municipal government.

Shanghai has cut about 40 percent of administrative approvals, saving business owners nearly half of their time, in a reform to cut red tape and improve business environment. 

Shanghai’s action plan aims to develop a city that has the most convenient trade and investment environment, scores highly in administrative efficiency, practices a standard service management and applies the finest law system, according to a notice issued by the city government and Party committee. 

The move comes in response to businesses’ concerns about the old system for doing business, which they regarded as cumbersome and expensive.

The city has recently revamped policies regarding business registration, application for electricity connection, construction permits, property registration, cross-border trade and tax payment.

Now it takes only 6 days to apply for a permit to start a new business, down from 22 days previously, and the number of procedures has been cut from seven to five.

The city aims to complete the processing of over 90 percent of services online by 2018.

Shanghai has scored well in many internationally recognized evaluations, ranking 9th on the Globalization and World Cities and 6th on the Global Financial Centres Index, the authorities said.

Shanghai is also one of the two sample cities for China (the other is Beijing) in the business environment evaluation of the World Bank’s Doing Business report which is an indicator with broad international influence.

Shanghai has adopted 24 of the 28 short-term reform suggestions from the World Bank on business environment as it aims to develop into a global city of excellence.

“Business environment can always get better,” said Ma Chunlei, director of the Shanghai Development and Reform Commission.

Shanghai will further enhance efforts to improve the business environment and speed up the development of a new open economic system to get closer to advanced global level.

China was ranked 78th out of 190 economies for ease of doing business, according to a 2017 report by the World Bank, up from 96th spot in 2013.

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