Li calls on Shanghai to drive reform

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Premier Li Keqiang has called on Shanghai to further improve the business environment and reduce institutional transaction costs in its efforts to expand reform and opening-up.
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Xinhua

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (center) talks to medical workers in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and the provinces of Qinghai and Yunnan via the Internet when visiting Huashan Hospital in Shanghai yesterday. Li called on Shanghai doctors to further leverage the power of the Internet to expand medical services to remote areas, and demanded better distribution of health care resources.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has called on Shanghai to further improve the business environment and reduce institutional transaction costs in its efforts to expand reform and opening-up.

Li made the remarks during a two-day inspection in the city that ended yesterday.

The premier made his first stop at the Shanghai free trade zone, where he called on the city government to promote reforms and opening-up to accumulate more experience.

Promotion of high-quality growth entails a good business environment, Li said, urging Shanghai to increase its efforts in this regard and reduce institutional costs to invigorate the market and to make the lives of local people easier.

During his visit to Shanghai Roche Pharmaceuticals, Li said expanding opening-up can both benefit economic growth and people’s livelihoods, citing that China has huge market demand for cancer drugs.

The country will introduce multiple steps to increase supply of cancer drugs and reduce the cost for patients, and he hoped that drugmakers can lower their prices to boost sales and benefit patients. 

The premier urged more international cooperation in developing drugs to treat top-killing diseases like cancer.

At Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co, Li encouraged the global leading port equipment maker to combine high-quality manufacturing and services to gain stronger global competitiveness.

Li visited Shanghai’s Huashan Hospital yesterday, and he called on it to further leverage the power of the Internet to expand medical services to remote areas. The premier also demanded better distribution of health care resources in the city.

The visit to Shanghai was Li’s first inspection tour after he was re-elected last month as premier.

“Shanghai has been recognized by the World Bank as a sample city to gauge the business environment on the Chinese mainland,” Li said during his visit to the corporate service center in Zhangjiang of the Pudong New Area.

“Shanghai should live up to the great expectations through beefing up efforts to improve its business environment and to reduce operational costs for companies with more investor-friendly policies,” he said.

“The Shanghai FTZ should endeavor to present a better version of itself.”

During the visit, he also reviewed the development of the free trade account, which is among the policy innovations in the zone. The account is expected to help companies to cut financing costs.

In 2013, Li’s first inspection tour as premier was to Shanghai, facilitating the establishment of the FTZ that year.

The number of newly registered companies in the FTZ now is 1.5 times more than that before the launch of the zone.

Today, more than 40 percent of Shanghai’s trade comes from the FTZ, yet its area only accounts for 2 percent of the city’s total.

Li also praised Shanghai’s efforts in cutting red tape and making it easier to start a new business.

On March 31, the city launched a one-stop service platform to facilitate online applications for and approval of business licenses and other related matters.

The move is a “big step forward” to show the government’s determination in transforming its role, he said.

“We should ‘let data work,’ not ‘let people walk,’ to make it easier for business and make administrative procedures more efficient, which can help stimulate vitality of the market.”

Li also expressed expectation for further opening-up and integration of businesses in the Yangtze River Delta region when he had an online communication with staff at the Yangshan Deep-Water Port.

During a visit to Changyang Innovation Center yesterday, Li encouraged entrepreneurs to play a more active role in China’s industrial restructuring.

The premier urged them to help create a better ecosystem for innovation.


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