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Special> NPC & CPPCC Sessions 2015> Exclusive
UPDATED: March 8, 2015 NO. 11 MARCH 12, 2015
A New Leaf for Private Economy
Administrative reforms of the government offer greater promise to non-state sectors
By Deng Yaqing

CUTTING RED TAPE: The list of administrative powers of the Zhejiang Provincial Government on zjzwfw.gov.cn on July 21, 2014. The list has slashed the provincial government's administrative powers from the previous 12,300 to 4,236 (HAN CHUANHAO)

Jack Ma, founder of China's largest e-commerce business, the Alibaba Group, expressed his view on working with the government in January at Davos, Switzerland, during the World Economic Forum.

"Fall in love with the government, but don't marry them," he said.

Last September, Alibaba recorded the world's largest initial public offering at $25 billion at the New York Stock Exchange.

The role of government is indispensable in ensuring fair competition, improving the market system and fighting monopoly and other anti-competitive practices, said Liu Shijin, Deputy Director of the Development Research Center of the State Council, China's cabinet.

On the other side, Internet companies like Alibaba live on exploring new market opportunities, such as e-commerce and Internet finance.

"What is bracing us is the market," said Alibaba in a statement in July 2014.

Alibaba's statement adds weight to the belief that China is now able to foster a number of world-class companies that have grown up in the market and have gone on to benefit the market.

At the Third Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China in November 2013, the decisive role of the market in resources allocation was confirmed. In response, the Chinese Government has since made great efforts to transform its functions and streamline administrative procedures.

Last year, the government allowed private capital to enter the banking sector in the form of private banks. Guo Tianyong, Chairman of China Banking Research Center, believes the move will not only boost the competitiveness of the banking industry but will also significantly solve the financing difficulty confronted by small and micro businesses, mostly privately funded.

The presence of private banks will effectively alleviate the fund shortage the real economy and entrepreneurs face, said Mei Xingbao, an external auditor of Bank of China Ltd., who recommends the concept of inclusive finance and advocates to allowing private capital to provide financial services.

As the peripheral nerve of the market, enterprises in many sectors are still impeded by excessive administrative procedures. Most private companies have been exhausted to cope with overlapping government regulations, said Wang Shiling, President of Shandong Lantian Group, who hopes the government can provide a more relaxed business environment.

When reviewing the government work in 2014 in his report to this year's full session of the National People's Congress, the national legislature, on March 5, Premier Li Keqiang said that a total of 246 administrative examination and approval items had been canceled or delegated to lower levels of government. Li made it clear that the government will continue putting an emphasis on streamlining administration and coordinating the role of government and market to push reforms forward.

"Since the government-led development mode is deep-rooted in China, it's still a long way to go for the market, government and enterprises to realize positive interactions," said Zhu Ping, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, China's top advisory body.

Under the new circumstances, the burdens on private, small and micro enterprises should be further alleviated to improve business environment and highlight the law of market economy, Zhu said.

Email us at: dengyaqing@bjreview.com

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