China advances to global top 50 in business climate: World Bank
China is now one of the top 50 economies in the world for ease of doing business, due to a record number of reforms carried out last year, according to the World Bank Group in its annual doing business report released Wednesday.
"China advanced to a global ranking of 46 this year, up from 78 last year, as the country implemented the largest number of reforms in the East Asia and Pacific region," the report said.
Bert Hofman, World Bank country director for China, said: "China has made rapid progress in improving its business climate for domestic small and medium enterprises in the past year. The progress signals the value the government places on nurturing entrepreneurship and private enterprise."
China's reforms in areas including cutting administrative red-tape earned the country a spot in this year's top ten global improvers, according to the report.
Progress made in the areas of starting a business and getting electricity was particularly impressive.
Since last year, three procedures were removed and consequently it now takes nine days to start a business, on par with most OECD high-income countries.
"Beijing is now one of only two cities in the world where the process of starting a business is completely free. China is now ranked 28 in the area of starting a business," the report said.
Getting an electricity connection is also entirely free in China. Japan and the United Arab Emirates are the only two other countries in the world to have this distinction. As a result, China has earned a global rank of 14 in the area of getting electricity.
China also remains one of the best economies in the world to resolve a commercial dispute. It takes 496 days and costs 16 percent of the value of the claim, far better than the OECD high-income average of 582 days and 21 percent.
Despite progress made since last year, China still has room for improvement in terms of dealing with construction permits, with a global rank of 121 in the area.
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang noted that the World Bank's evaluation is both fair and objective, and it also reflects China's firm commitment and effective measures for facilitating reform and opening up and improving the business environment.
"This year marks the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening up. China will press ahead with a new round of reform and opening up, and bring into full play the huge potential of the market, making itself a preferred place for foreign investment. We also welcome more foreign companies to develop business and share opportunities in China." Lu added.