Foreign visitors attend a cultural experience show featuring traditional Chinese medicines in Beijing. Medical care is one of the key areas in the opening-up of the city's service sector. Photos Provided to China Daily
Beijing commerce commission streamlines processes to accelerate opening-up and to promote innovation, Chen Meiling reports.
Boosted by the opening-up of its service industries, the Beijing municipal government has decided to speed up its efficiency efforts and provide better services for enterprises, said senior officials.
"The expanding of the service industries helps to promote supply-side structural reforms, innovations in the work mechanisms and improvements in government services," said Yan Ligang, Party secretary and director of the Beijing Municipal Commission of Commerce.
The program began in May 2015 and is expected to finish in May 2018. It comprises a broad range of areas such as science and technology, health and medical care, financial services, construction of five supportive systems and deepening the reform of the city's foreign investment management system, Yan said.
He said that the revenue of Beijing's service industries contributed more than 81 percent of the city's GDP from January to October in 2016.
The added value of the industry increased by 7.3 percent year-on-year in the first three quarters of this year.
Zhao Wenjie, an officer at the program's leading group office, said the past year reaped a harvest in innovation and reform of rules and regulations, which will better assist enterprises in Beijing in conducting international trade, equipped with closer cooperation among different government departments.
"The construction of a two-dimensional credit management model, as an information database for all the good and bad records of foreign enterprises in Beijing, requires information sharing and gathering among different departments," Zhao said.
"Now, eight departments have been involved in the construction of the model, with more set to participate in the future.
"It's not easy work. But I see that all these departments are willing to cooperate with each other and support the promotion of a new integrated working mechanism," she said.
Sun Jian, principal staff member of the Foreign Economic Cooperation Office of the Beijing Municipal Commission of Commerce, said that the efficiency and service of the government are both improved, through the cooperation with the Beijing Municipal Commission of Development and Reform in filing of local enterprises' foreign investment since August.
For enterprises that want to apply for a new overseas branch, the required materials have decreased by 50 percent.
In addition, the time limits have been shortened to three to five days compared to more than over 10 days in the past, by uploading digital materials via an online platform, Sun said.
"Working efficiency has significantly improved," said Sun, adding that this year saw 1,510 enterprises' application approved, while the total number across 2004-15 was about 3,000.
Sun said the government's role is changing, with a higher requirement on service than management.
"I answer hundreds of phone calls a day to reply to questions like 'how to fill in the location of our company'," he said.
"It's sometimes annoying. But I think if they call, it means they really need help. It's my job to answer them."
Liu Shiyi, an engineer at the general engineering office of Sinosteel Equipment and Engineering Co Ltd, said the new method is convenient.
"The guidance on the website is clear and easy to follow, and the digital materials are ecologically friendly."
Yang Yang, deputy director of the Foreign Investment Administration Office of Beijing Municipal Commission of Commerce, said foreign enterprises in Beijing used to come to two government departments if they wanted to change the name or address of their company.
Since the approval and registration procedure of the two departments were integrated in July, the time taken to complete the process has been reduced to less than five days.
"Now the district-level departments are authorized to accept the application, while only the municipal one could do in the past," she said.
"A total of 287 enterprises completed their application from July to November under the new regulation."
Yang said the reform conforms to the national initiative to "streamline administrative approval, delegate more power to lower government levels and optimize service".
"We are determined to improve the service level of our department to respond to the national call," she said.
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