International

New China Guidelines Increase Foreign Business Opportunities

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The world’s second-largest economy wants to make business transactions easier, from nurturing private enterprises to widening market access.

The 30-page draft guidelines published by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) aim to reverse a slowdown of economic growth partially caused by the U.S. trade war, Reuters reports.

Amid the backdrop of more companies in debt due to expansion and crowded markets, China’s debt load quadrupled over the span of a decade, and Chinese corporate debt stands at $1.7 trillion outstanding, according to reports.

Manufacturers in China are struggling with sluggish demand at home and abroad, and the U.S. tariff hike announced in May threatens to crush already thin profit margins, Reuters said.

The draft guidelines include better protection of intellectual property, equal market access and more support for private businesses and small companies as part of wider plans to stimulate the economy.

The measure comes as data in recent weeks point to a slowdown in the economy, with growth in the second quarter the weakest it has been in at least 27 years, reports indicate. In addition, domestic and foreign companies operating in China have complained of unfair treatment when it comes to market access, burdensome red tape and weak law enforcement.

All types of market entities should be treated equally, the document outlined. The measure indicates the establishing of a punitive damages system for intellectual property infringement and making public bids and government procurement transparent and fair.

It also called on financial institutions to increase lending to private enterprises and small businesses and provide targeted products and services.

China is also planning to promote cross-border eCommerce in additional cities as an initiative to stabilize trade in the country.

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