China’s efforts on opening-up
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Streamlining the approval process of construction projects, optimizing custom clearance process of cross-border trade, and drafting and revising related business regulations are the latest efforts to improve the business environment.
The efforts in improving the business environment have yielded positive results, with China ranking 46th globally for ease of doing business in 2018, up from 78th in 2017, according to the World Bank.
China International Import Expo (CIIE) will continue to be of great appeal to the country’s trade partners. More than 1,800 companies have signed up for the second CIIE, scheduled for early November this year.
A total of 172 countries, regions and international organizations and more than 3,600 enterprises participated in the first CIIE, held from Nov. 5-10 in Shanghai last year.
The government has said the country will import more than 30 trillion dollars worth of commodities and 10 trillion dollars worth of services in the next 15 years.
A significant boost to imports will also come from tariff cuts which involved not only vehicles and auto parts, but also many cancer drugs.
The overall tariff rate on imported goods was lowered from 9.8 percent to 7.5 percent in 2018.
China has also lowered the tax rates on inbound consumer goods. Starting from April 9 this year, the tax rate on products including food and medicine was lowered from 15 percent to 13 percent and the rate for commodities including textiles and electric appliances was cut from 25 percent to 20 percent.
To help nurture a favorable legal environment for technological innovation and deliver the promise of strengthening intellectual property rights (IPR) protection, China’s Supreme People’s Court started to hear IPR appeals, including a broad range of lawsuits, such as patents, copyright, trademarks, new plant varieties, integrated circuit layout design and monopoly from Jan. 1.
Last year, the Beijing Intellectual Property Court handled about 18,000 IPR cases, up 19 percent year on year. It also closed about 15,000 IPR-related cases, up 18 percent year on year.