Beijing ranks 1st in new business environment survey
Beijing is ranked first in a survey of the business environment of 22 cities around China, followed by Shanghai at second.
The rankings were announced at a national business environment promotion conference held in Beijing on Aug. 27.
A good business environment can stimulate the vitality and creativity of enterprises, representing a city's soft power, according to the organizer of the conference.
Beijing and Shanghai take the lead in 22 assessed cities
To optimize the business environment is to liberate productivity and enhance competitiveness, said Lin Nianxiu, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). He said that in the first half of this year, the NDRC, together with relevant departments and localities, created an index system for assessing a city's business environment by drawing upon international experience.
The evaluation system consists of three indicator sets: the life cycle of enterprises, the attractiveness for investment in the city, and the high-quality development of the city. The initial assessment was conducted on a trial basis on 22 cities, including Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Chongqing, Nanjing, Chengdu, Xiamen, Hangzhou, and Xuzhou.
According to the evaluations, Beijing has made breakthroughs in its reforms of business startups and handling of construction permits as the result of its regional "9+N" policies and measures. Beijing ranks first in the two indexes of enterprises life cycle and investment attractiveness, while also ranking among the top cities in the third index of high-quality development.
Meanwhile, Shanghai has also made remarkable progress in its reforms of property registration, cross-border trade and protection of minority investors.
A shift away from government-centered decision-making
Beijing stands out among its competitors that include traditional economic centers like Shanghai and Shenzhen, as well as young "dark-horse" cities that have been rising fast in recent years.
This is the result following a series of significant moves in the past year. Last September, Beijing began implementing a list of 26 reform measures and 136 policies to improve its business environment, of which 88 thus far have taken effect. On March 18, inspired by the World Bank's "Doing Business" report, Beijing released another batch of goal-oriented policies named the "9+N" policies.
According to the city's policymakers, the measures specifically target local enterprises and residents, while shifting from "government-centered" decision-making to "enterprises-centered" and "people-centered" decision-making.
In addition, Beijing has set up 10 supervising teams led by its mayor and deputy mayors. The teams are in charge of evaluating the implementation of the policies on a regular basis, while the city has also recruited independent organizations to conduct unannounced inquiries.
"Improving the business environment is an important move from the Beijing government to achieve higher-quality development, and it will bring more efficient public services to both enterprises and the local residents," said an official of the Beijing Municipal Commission of Development and Reform.
(Source_title：Beijing ranks 1st in new business environment survey)