2019 High-level International Conference on Doing Business Practice and Reforms

2019-11-22 | All chapters

2019 High-level International Conference on Doing Business Practice and Reforms

The High-level International Conference on Doing Business Practice and Reforms was held in the National Convention Centre in Beijing on 22nd and 23rd November. The conference was co-hosted by the Ministry of Finance, the People’s Government of Beijing Municipality and the World Bank. Under the theme ‘Improving the Business Environment for A More Dynamic Economy of China and The World’, the conference aimed to build a platform for exchanging experiences and jointly promoting business environment reform.

Vice presidents (VP) of the European Chamber, Mr Jens Eskelund and Mr Massimo Bagnasco, as well as representatives of 10 member companies also attended the conference. VP Eskelund delivered a speech at both the Friday afternoon session and the Saturday morning forum on 23rd November.

About 450 participants from the World Bank’s business environmental policy consulting team , leaders and experts from more than 10 countries including the UK, Japan and Russia, relevant officials from the Chinese government, and leaders from 31 provinces and regions gathered for the event.

Mr Ding Xuedong, deputy secretary general (DSG), State Council, mentioned in his address that China has made great efforts to transform the functions of the government, by “streamlining administration, delegating powers, and improving regulation and services”, and constantly optimising the domestic business environment. The aim of these reforms is to provide more vitality and space to all kinds of market subjects in order to develop the economy and create wealth. DSG Ding said China will strengthen exchanges and sharing with all parties to improve the business environment, and promote economic globalisation towards a more open, inclusive, balanced and win-win direction.

Minister of Finance Mr Liu Kun stated in his speech that while China has climbed significantly in the rankings of international business environments, there is still a large gap compared with the advanced levels globally. The minister said China will continue to make greater efforts and more pragmatic measures to optimise the international and domestic business environments. “China's business environment will always keep pace with the best in the world," said Minister Liu.

On Saturday 23rd November, the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) held a Business Forum. The aim of the event was to learn from advanced international experience, listen to business representatives’ opinions and suggestions on the next steps to reform, and continuously improve the business environment in China. The forum invited leaders from business associations of major foreign economies in China and representatives from the world’s top 500 enterprises to discuss China’s achievements in improving its business environment, the gap with the international frontier, and the direction for future improvement and development.

In VP Eskelund’s speech, he pointed out that China still lags in areas such as paying taxes (rated as 105th), getting credit (80th), and trading across borders (56th), according to the World Bank Group’s Doing Business 2020. He added that more equal treatment for foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) is expected. VP Eskelund also presented the Chamber’s Position Paper 2019/2020 to Ms Gao Yan, chairperson, CCPIT.