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Li lists goals: Cut red tape, aid business

The Chinese government reaffirms its commitment to streamline its administrative processes and delegate power to lower levels of government in order to further unleash business potential, create jobs and transform government functions, Premier Li Keqiang said at a national video and telephone conference with regional government officials on Tuesday.

Li cited five key targets for this year's efforts: encouraging employment and entrepreneurship, easing businesses burdens, boosting investment, creating a level playing field for businesses and bringing convenience to the public. In addition, he said, efforts to streamline government administration are entering their most crucial stage.

The government has made headway in streamlining administration in recent years, he said, but much remains to be done to meet the public's expectations.

Some long-existing government functions, such as granting licenses and certificates, must be transformed, and the government has to accelerate its efforts at adapting to a market-oriented economy, Li said. Creating a proper relationship between government and market forces has been at the top of the government's agenda in recent years, ha added.

More administrative hurdles have to be eliminated to boost private and foreign investment, and building comprehensive legislation and enhancing law enforcement are necessary to ensuring the effective streamlining of administration and to deliver tangible results, he said.

A record management system will be further applied to more than 95 percent of foreign businesses in China within the year, and this will ease or replace many of the previous investment approval processes.

Li said that as many countries are looking at measures to cut costs, increasingly intensifying international competition, China has to secure stable prospects for its enterprises and maintain competitiveness.

He Lifeng, head of the National Development and Reform Commission, said during the meeting that the NDRC is working with 60 government departments on building a comprehensive credit record system to ensure proper supervision. In addition, He said, "Internet Plus Governance" - a system making government services available online - has been applied in more than 80 cities and will ultimately forge an internet-based government service platform nationwide.

The State Council's executive meeting on June 7 announced it would slash costs for businesses by 1 trillion yuan ($147.1 billion) within this year.