13th Five-Year Plan: China sees strides in improving business climate
By Ying Junyi
2020 is the last year of China's 13th Five-Year Plan (FYP) period, during which the country has made significant strides in improving the business climate and attracting foreign investment.
Many foreign investors are expecting more improvements.
Swiss industrial giant ABB Group is one of the foreign companies which have made big investments in China during the last five years.
The robotics company found it easy to expand business, recruit professionals and get through the hard times at the first half of the year. It benefited from Shanghai's measures to increase financial and tax support, and guidance encouraging foreign manufacturer investment.
It has even announced the launch of a new robotics factory here next year, when it expects more business-friendly policies from the government.
"In the past few years we have seen the launch of more positive regulations, and the government focusing more on the development of technology," said Liang Rui, head of robotics division China of ABB Group.
"We are looking forward to more opening-up policies in the future. China has the biggest robotics market in the world. With the business climate further improving, we think the market will become even bigger," he added.
Financial institutions benefit from China's opening-up
Foreign financial institutions have also benefited substantially from supportive policies during the 13th FYP.
Since 2018, authorities have given approval to foreign banks and insurers to set up nearly 100 institutions in the country.
The new firms are allowed to form pension investment management companies, and to invest in the wealth management subsidiaries of commercial banks in China.
Foreign banks including Citi Bank are looking forward to an even more competitive Chinese market, with the improved business climate bringing in more foreign players in the next five-year period.
"They come into China because they see opportunities in this market. They come into China because they believe the economic growth is available in China. They come into China because they believe in a long term growth story in this market," said Darren Buckley, EVP and head of consumer banking of Citi China.
According to the World Bank's latest finance, competitiveness and innovation report on China, the country has been the top reformer among large economies for the last 15 years, featuring significant business reforms, streamlined legislation and easier tax burdens.
China's overall ranking in the World Bank's report on the ease of doing business last year was 31st among 190 world economies.