China vows to cut red tape for investment

China’s State Council pledges it will streamline the approval process for investment, as well as ensuring more protection for the intellectual property rights of foreign enterprises.

Xinhua, an official Chinese news agency, quoted a statement released by the council after a meeting held on November 5. The session, chaired by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, said the government would “remove the preconditions for approval” of investment projects, unless such approval was required by specific laws. The government would also review the current approval procedures, the statement added.

Mr Li was quoted saying the request he “has heard the most” from businesses in the major coastal cities or the mid-west region is to “eliminate the preconditions”.

The Chinese government also aims to set up an online platform that allows applications for investment and tackles the subsequent procedures, according to Xinhua.

These measures can help to “prevent the transfer of benefits” between officials and enterprises, as well as “unlocking the potentials of investment”, the agency added.

The vow came after China announced in the same week that they would revise rules to open up more areas for foreign investment.

Xinhua reported the November 5 meeting also discussed China making “more efforts” to boost protection of intellectual property rights, “making no exception” for protection of the rights of companies and individuals abroad. The costs to apply and maintain the patents for small- and medium-sized enterprises will also be lowered, the agency added.