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February 20, 2020

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Shanghai looks to enhance city’s international business appeal

Shanghai plans to double down on its development strategy to strengthen the city’s footprint as a first-class international business center.

The implementation plan, including 36 measures, was released yesterday on the city government’s official website, emphasizing that Shanghai will continue to be a convenient, efficient destination for trade and investment, with the most standardized government services and mature legal system.

The city pledges to draw on experience from home and abroad to further implement several breakthrough reform measures in the next two to three years.

The city will place greater emphasis on a comprehensive government-services online platform.

On this platform, Shanghai will promote e-certificate, e-seal and e-file applications.

At least 500 different electronic certificates and licenses will be accessible, as well as approval files and appraisal reports issued by the Party and local government officials.

To make the international business environment more competitive, the city will make it easier for companies to access electricity. The time required to apply for low-voltage power projects will be reduced to 10 days.

For companies applying for high-voltage power projects, the city seeks to shorten the administrative approval time for road digging to less than 15 working days, which would amount to a 20 percent reduction in time.

Meanwhile, it will take only two to three days to start a business in Shanghai, as applicants can complete all the administrative affairs through the “one window” platform, including applying for business licenses, official seals, tax control equipment and invoices, as well as employment-insurance and provident-fund registration.

The city will promote the convenience of paying taxes while at the same time reducing the burden on companies.

Companies will be able to receive tax refunds via online platforms and will no longer need to send any paper materials. Moreover, the social security fund and provident fund payment processes will be further optimized, and the time for paying taxes will be reduced by 10 percent to less than 100 hours.

Also, Shanghai will build a unified platform to promote investment and offer services to companies, providing investors with comprehensive services to attract investment.

As the business environment in Shanghai relates to foreign affairs, the city will accelerate construction of a special window for foreign issues on the official online platform, offering both Chinese and English services for related affairs and policies.

For foreign individuals, “single windows” will be established at the municipal and district levels to deal with affairs concerned with employment and housing. For qualified foreign workers, these affairs will be completed within seven working days.


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