World Bank says Beijing excels in reforming business environment

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In a special report published by the World Bank on Monday on China's successful experience in improving the business environment, the organization hailed Beijing as a role model in reforming its business environment. 

The report introduced Beijing's various regulatory reforms, which made it easier to set up companies, obtaining construction approval, and getting electricity from the power grid. 

"Since 2018, Beijing has re-engineered procedures to make it easier and cheaper to do business in the city," the report says. It includes special columns on the Chinese capital's reforms to optimize the business environment during 2018 and 2019.

Beijing released three action plans on business environment reform over the past two years, with 395 reform tasks focusing on major and difficult issues of common concern. Eighty-eight of these measures by the city were adopted by the World Bank. In some areas, such as getting electricity and quality control of building construction, Beijing is now close to or at the forefront of global best practices, according to the report.

In the 2018-2019 period, Beijing implemented a series of significant business reforms, including streamlining the approval procedures for business establishment and operation, integrating the approval procedures of different government agencies, and setting up "one-stop shops" to simplify the application and approval process. It also established a municipal-level "e-government" service platform to promote online applications.

This year, Beijing is making further efforts in business regulatory reforms, including enhancing data sharing among agencies through intensive use of information technologies such as block chain. 

The city is also improving administrative efficiency to facilitate the use of water, gas, and electricity, which helps to save 880 million yuan (US$126 million) in operating costs of enterprises. 

In addition, Beijing is stepping up efforts in optimizing port business environment this year by further reducing the number of items that require review and approval in the import and export process. 

"Improving the business environment is a systematic and profound reform led by the government," said an official of the Beijing Municipal Commission of Development and Reform. "It will not only bring a good environment for businesses in Beijing, but also leads to a change in government concept, administration manner and work style."

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