China has been making significant progress in improving its business environment, and the country vows to continue reforms to attract both domestic and foreign capital, officials and business representatives said on Thursday during a forum.
The comments were made after the World Bank released the latest business-friendly rankings.
China was one of the top 10 improvers in the World Bank's Doing Business 2019 report released on Wednesday. The country ranks 46 among more than 190 economies across the world, rising 32 from last year.
The report shows that China's efforts and progress in improving the business environment have been noticed, China's Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen said during the opening ceremony of the 11th International Roundtable of Multinational Corporations' Leaders in North China's Tianjin Municipality on Thursday.
"We are continuously improving the business environment and deepening reform by simplifying administrative procedures to facilitate foreign investment. Today, 97 percent of foreign companies can establish their presence purely through online registration," noted Wang.
Commenting on the World Bank ranking, Cong Liang, secretary general of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said at the conference that China will strive to improve the business climate.
"Not best, only better," said Cong. "China will continue its focus on research and solve the difficulties encountered by private enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises in their development and operation.
"We will continue creating a fair competitive market environment for domestic and foreign-funded enterprises," Cong added.
Total global foreign direct investment (FDI) fell 41 percent in first half of 2018. China was a notable exception. It was the largest recipient of FDI with more than $70 billion, data from UNCTAD showed on October 15.
Sergey Shilin, general representative of the Russian-Chinese Business Council, told the Global Times on Thursday that the world economy is unstable, so foreign investors are looking for a stable business climate. China is one of the most stable economies and offers many opportunities, Shilin said.
"I have been in China for a long time. I found that China has made significant progress in taxation and administrative management to facilitate foreign investing," Shilin said. "We expect to see further improvement, and if it happens, it will be really beneficial."
"The World Bank's ranking is objective. It reflects China's firm commitment and effective measures to deepen reform, expand openness, and constantly improve the business environment," Lu Kang, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, told a press briefing, commenting on the World Bank's report.
"A new round of reform and opening-up will fully release the huge potential of the market and make China a more attractive place for foreign investment," Lu said.