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Reform measures improving Guangzhou's business environment

By Yuan Shenggao (China Daily) Update:2023-04-19

With Guangzhou city government sparing no effort to improve the business environment, notable results have been seen in recent years.

Currently, the number of all-type market entities in Guangzhou exceeds 3.1 million. In 2022, Guangzhou saw about 120,000 new market entities and the number of enterprises grew by 4.84 percent.

At the end of 2022, Guangdong Provincial Development and Reform Commission released a report after evaluating the business environment in the province's 21 cities.

Guangzhou ranked top for the third consecutive year. In the same year, Guangzhou was also among the best-reputed cities in an assessment of business environment conducted by the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce.

Since 2018, Guangzhou has been performing business environment reforms, starting with streamlining administration, then promoting cross-departmental administrative approval, comprehensively optimizing government service, and currently establishing more efficient and effective whole-life-cycle service system for enterprises by innovating and reforming system. To date, Guangzhou has undergone five rounds of deep reforms in the field.

In September 2021, Guangzhou became one of the first six cities designated as national pilot cities for business environment innovation, taking on the role of providing experience for other cities' reform.


A new energy vehicle plant of GAC Toyota is located in Nansha. CHINA DAILY

Fifty measures have been selected by the General Office of the State Council for nationwide application, contributing Guangzhou's wisdom to the nation's efforts to optimize the business environment.

In May 2022, Guangzhou introduced its reform experience of e-government, tax payment and electricity accessibility at an exchange conference on reforms to optimize business environment co-hosted by the World Bank and the Ministry of Finance.

In September 2022, the General Office of the State Council published a report on the integrated government service capability of provincial and key city governments, which showed that Guangzhou retained its advantage in such a field among China's major cities.

The business environment in Guangzhou has been widely recognized by investors. Many entrepreneurs said the fast administrative processes, say in business registration and taxpayers' application for invoices, are beyond expectations.

As one of the participants in the biopharmaceutical industry, BeiGene has achieved a full-chain development from research and development, industrialization to commercialization in Guangzhou within just four years.

"If we want this kind of development to happen in other countries, it might take 10 years," said Liu Jian, CEO of the BeiGene's Bio-island Innovation Center.

Xu Zhengkang, president of Guangzhou Shuangqiao is also impressed by the "Guangzhou speed". His company launched a project with an annual production of 1 million metric tons of starch and sugar in Guangzhou's Nansha district. The project was completed almost two months ahead of schedule, which meant a saving of more than 7 million yuan ($1 million).

Through strengthening data sharing, Guangzhou refunds directly and immediately financial incentives included in the city's preferential policies to related enterprises. More than 5.5 billion yuan was refunded in this way.

Peng Wei, managing director of Zeiss Vision Care China, has witnessed Guangzhou's iterative reforms and improvements of the business environment. His impression about starting a business in Guangzhou is "assured, relaxed and delighted".

Zeiss has taken root in Guangzhou for 30 years, he said, adding: "We can feel governments at all levels have improved work styles with the times by upgrading policies and systems for foreign investment and optimizing industrial layout, which are constructive to achieving higher levels of industrial development."