Despite the United States-initiated trade war against China and the efforts by the former US administration to decouple the US economy from China’s, Beijing has remained committed to keeping the country’s doors open to the outside world. And the progress it has made in creating a business friendly environment over the years has been acknowledged globally.
In the World Bank’s Doing Business report, which measures business activity enhancing regulations in 190 economies, China jumped from 46th place in 2019 to 31st last year, and was among the top 10 fastest global reformers for the second year in a row.
Thus it is no surprise that against the backdrop of FDI plunging by 42 percent worldwide due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, China surpassed the US to be the largest recipient of foreign direct investment last year with a 4 percent increase in investments by foreign companies, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
Yet despite China’s improved business environment, foreign companies doing business in China have continued to voice concerns, calling for a shorter negative list and easier, wider market access, as well as fair competition, better intellectual property rights protection and stricter law enforcement.
A new action plan released by the government on Sunday to guide the building of a high-standard market system in the next five years addresses these issues while providing new impetus for the country’s growth momentum.
The plan proposes to strengthen and improve anti-monopoly and anti-unfair competition law enforcement to ensure fair competition, along with comprehensive improvement of the IPR protection system and the full implementation of the negative list system for market access.
Indeed, the markedly improved business environment that will result from the more than 50 specific measures set out in the plan will be good News for all businesses, foreign and domestic alike.
By ensuring the completeness of market institutions, fair competition and the role of government in maintaining the market order, the plan aims to build a high-standard market system that will facilitate the new “dual circulation” development paradigm that takes the domestic market as the mainstay while allowing the domestic and foreign markets to boost each other.
In doing so, the plan sets the stage for a unified and open market, featuring orderly competition, as well as sound policies, regulations and governance. It marks the further upgrading of China’s opening-up and development.