China will simplify business registration procedures for foreign investors in a bid to spur overseas investment and create a more open business environment in the country, officials said on Tuesday.
The measures, which will come into effect on June 30, include the single window policy that will help streamline business registration, reduce paperwork and eliminate the need to deal with multiple departments and offices, Vice-Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen told a policy briefing hosted by the State Council Information Office.
It will also streamline the current procedure of getting clearances from the departments of commerce and market regulation for on-site registrations and help save time and costs for around 30,000 new foreign investors every year.
The new steps will also lower the threshold for foreign companies and make it easier for them to pursue opportunities in the Chinese market, the vice-minister said.
According a recent report, foreign direct investment fell 16 percent globally last year despite recovering demand and cross-border investment. Developed economies continued efforts to attract back mid and high-end manufacturing by cutting taxes, while developing economies encouraged foreign firms into their markets, leading to a fierce competition for foreign capital, Wang said.
Last year, FDI into China rose by 4 percent in US dollar terms, compared to the global drop, Wang said. China is facing increasing pressure in terms of new FDI, as it only rose by 2 percent in April in US dollar terms, he said.
"The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China emphasized the transformation from high-speed growth to high-quality development, and we attach more importance to equal competition and improvement in the business environment. This was followed by the single window procedure to deepen administrative reforms in foreign-invested businesses," Wang said.
China has been committed to improving the business environment. Negative lists were introduced in 2015 for foreign companies in four pilot free trade zones in Shanghai, Guangdong province, Tianjin and Fujian province.
Last year, the State Council decided to integrate five certificates into one business license, which further eased the procedures for setting up new businesses in the country.
In April last year, Beijing piloted a program of single procedures for foreign investors. Compared to on-site registration, the single window registration saved half the time and cost for enterprises.