Free Trade Zones

China adopts better business environment with higher standard openness

BEIJING, November 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The 5th China International Import Expo (CIIE), which will be held on November 5 to 10 in Shanghaiwill welcome large companies from all over the world.

More than 280 of the world’s top 500 companies and industry giants will attend the event, among which nearly 90 percent are returning attendees from last year, according to the CIIE Bureau and General Administration. customs.

Since 2018, the annual fair serves as an open channel for international investment and procurement, part of China desire to open its market to the world.

“Promoting high-level openness” is emphasized in a report to the 20th CPC National Congress, which said China should “gradually expand institutional openness in terms of rules, regulations, management and standards”.

Exhibitors at the previous four events have launched more than 1,500 new products, technologies, service items and secured tentative deals worth more than $270 billionaccording to the Ministry of Commerce.

Many high-tech products will debut, including Tesla’s Optimus humanoid robot, which applies powerful car-compatible computer vision technology, and Evonik Industries AG’s photoresist 3D printers, which are suitable for construction of strong and impact-resistant materials.

A booming consumer market

The CIIE opens up opportunities for businesses around the world to tap into the Chinese market, which is growing rapidly due to rising incomes and increased purchasing power of Chinese consumers.

In 2021, China GDP per capita rose to around 81,000 yuan ($11,203) and disposable income per capita has more than doubled since 2012, according to official data.

Meanwhile, more and more people are moving into the middle-income class, with more than 400 million middle-income people in 2022, up from 100 million a decade ago.

The increase in purchasing power indicates the potential of the Chinese market, which companies, whether large multinationals or small start-ups, can access.

China trade in goods and services went from $4.4 trillion in 2012 at $6.9 trillion in 2021, ranking first in the world.

During the same period, China the actual use of foreign investment increased by almost 63%. More than 47,000 businesses were created with foreign direct investment (excluding banking, securities and insurance), up 23.5 percent from a year earlier, according to official data.

Optimization of the business environment

During the last years, China has seen an improvement in its business environment by improving market regulation services. In a 2020 World Bank report on the ease of doing business, China ranked 31st out of 190 countries and regions, up from 78th in 2018.

In 2019, China issued the Business Environment Optimization Regulations, the first official document that clarified the correlation between the protection of intellectual property rights and the business environment.

Under the regulations, domestic investors and market entities are protected, and foreign natural and legal persons can also obtain a valid patent or trademark from China’s intellectual property administrative offices if they comply with the statutory rules of the intellectual property law.

In 2021, six economically developed cities have been selected to lead the development of an international consumer hub. The government also issued a new directive in 2022 to ease the pressure on small businesses and protect the legitimate rights of market entities.

High-end opening

Since the implementation of the Foreign Investment Law in 2020, China took steps to encourage foreign investment and promote greater openness, including by facilitating market access for trade in services and investment and increasing the proportion of trade in goods duty-free .

So far, China has signed 19 free trade agreements with 26 countries and regions, and the volume of trade between China and its free trade partners account for about 35% of the country’s total foreign trade, according to official data.

China introduced its first negative list for foreign investment, which refers to a document that delineates industries prohibited or limited to private investment by companies, in 2017.

The latest version of the negative list, published in 2021, reduced the number of restrictive measures from 33 to 31 and for free zones from 30 to 27. The shortened list is part of China efforts to facilitate a higher degree of openness in order to attract foreign investment.

“During the last decade, China has made full use of domestic and foreign markets and their resources to expand its foreign trade and economic cooperation…and create a new paradigm of opening up to the outside world,” said Chen Jian‘an, vice chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade at CGTN.

Hosting major exhibitions like the CIIE demonstrates China initiative to open its market to the world, he added.