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CCPIT to step up trade facilitation measures in overseas markets

The China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, the country's foreign trade and investment promotion agency, will work with related government bodies to build a new regulatory mechanism with credit as the core this year to ensure the interests and legitimate rights of domestic companies in overseas markets, said senior officials.

It will establish databases of credit records for State-owned enterprises and a number of private companies involved in international trade, improve information sharing and supervision to strengthen their ability to manage, identify and prevent potential risks in other countries.

Lu Pengqi, vice-chairman of CCPIT, said the global economy has undergone restructuring as many parts of the world witness changes due to factors such as technology and new policies. At the same time, many countries are also confronting challenges arising from protectionism and unilateralism, which increase the risks and uncertainties.

"Many Chinese companies are not familiar with the policies and regulations in foreign countries. Some of them do not comply with local laws and even conduct unprofessional operations in overseas markets. We will deploy more resources to end such wrongdoing and work with foreign governments to achieve win-win results," he said.

Supported by 180,000 domestic companies conducting business in overseas markets and its 34 representative offices throughout the world, the CCPIT seeks to provide comprehensive country-specific information to help domestic companies avoid risks and enhance information and data collection on the political environment, legal policies, industrial development, market dynamics and cultural practices of various countries this year.

For instance, many countries in Africa and Latin America do not acknowledge the legal status of companies registered in the Cayman Islands, while tribal rights and influence are powerful requisites in many African countries such as Ghana, Nigeria and Benin, to protect tax revenue. This reality has caused difficulties for Chinese companies investing in these destinations.

"By working with the host countries, we have already begun to issue early warning information regarding national trade and investment credit risks and a legal policy service guide, as well as help companies understand and pre-examine the actual situation, to effectively avoid and properly respond to potential business risks and policy changes," he said.

CCPIT will also improve domestic companies' ability on legal advice, arbitration resolution, thematic training and other service systems, in conjunction with professional service agencies to carry out credit ratings, due diligence, business account collection, insurance claim management and other professional services throughout the world.

CCPIT has set up over 100 trade information offices to provide early warning and legal services since 2016 in major export-oriented areas such as Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Shanghai.

Zhang Yi, deputy secretary-general of the China Chamber of International Commerce, said the new measures will give Chinese companies more information of the markets they plan to invest in, including market demand, industrial structure, insurance policies, terrorism risks and the inflation rate, in order to avoid risks from other aspects.

"China's moves to tighten its credit system are admirably in tune with its efforts to advance reform and opening-up and develop the Belt and Road Initiative with other international partners," said Wang Jun, a researcher at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges.