Unified market set to further boost vitality
Moves reflect nation's resolve to expand high-level opening-up, experts say
China will continue to push for greater market access for foreign investors as part of its ongoing efforts to expand high-level opening-up and build a unified national market, the Ministry of Commerce said on Monday.
Analysts said this signals the country's resolve to build a fully open market, deepen market-oriented reforms and remove barriers within the fragmented domestic market, which will stimulate market vitality and significantly boost market confidence, especially among foreign businesses.
They said the country is dedicated to opening wider to the outside world, and they expect that more efforts will be made to expand opening-up in fields such as the modern services sector.
"The unified national market we are constructing will be a globally oriented and fully open market, which will undoubtedly provide a better environment and a bigger platform for various market entities, including foreign companies," Zhou Qiang, director of the ministry's department of market system development, said at a news briefing on Monday.
Zhou said that China will appropriately shorten the negative list for foreign investment to further cancel or relax restrictions on market access. It will align with high-standard international economic and trade rules to deepen reforms in relevant areas and steadily advance institutional opening-up.
More efforts will also be made to better serve foreign companies and create a world-class environment for foreign investment, he said.
Zhu Jianqiao, director of the comprehensive planning department of the State Administration for Market Regulation, highlighted the role of fair competition in supporting the growth of the unified national market, saying that China will strengthen supervision and law enforcement against market intervention behaviors and consolidate the institutional and regulatory foundations for fair competition.
He said the country will accelerate the revision of the Anti-Unfair Competition Law, promote the introduction of the regulation on fair competition review and optimize the registration system for enterprises moving from one region to another.
China's fresh efforts to court foreign investors and businesses came as the country is firmly accelerating the push for building a unified national market that is efficient, rules-based, open and encourages fair competition, which means the country will further integrate itself into the global economy and steadily deepen reforms and opening-up, analysts said.
Ye Yindan, a researcher at the Bank of China Research Institute, said that China aims to set up a unified market system, and bring an end to local protectionism, market segmentation and impediments restricting economic circulation as well as facilitate the smooth flow of goods, factors and resources.
"Such a unified market will help foreign companies establish a unified system for production, operation and sales in China and reduce their costs resulting from differences in rules between regions, thus greatly enhancing the confidence of foreign investors," Ye said.
Cui Weijie, deputy director of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, spoke highly of China's ongoing efforts on shortening negative lists for market entry and building a unified national market, saying those moves help create a modern market system that is open, transparent and encourages fair competition and benefit all market players.
Sang Baichuan, dean of University of International Business and Economics' Institute of International Economy in Beijing, said he expects to see greater efforts in further opening the services sector and creating a better business environment for foreign investors.
Executives from both home and abroad hailed China's intensified efforts for optimizing the business environment, expressing strong optimism and confidence in the resilience of the Chinese economy.
"China is a market that cannot be ignored. It cannot be missed as an outlet for most companies," said Denis Depoux, global managing director of consultancy Roland Berger.
"China is one of the leading supply chains in the global market," said Samson Khaou, executive vice-president of Dassault Systemes Asia-Pacific. "We believe that the growth of China will be sourced by domestic demand as well as global demand."
Qi Xiangdong, chairman of Chinese cybersecurity company Qi-Anxin Technology Group, said the company has benefited from an optimized business environment, adding that he expects to see more efforts to further spur market confidence and has strong confidence in the company's development this year.
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