New Shanghai Action Plan To Enhance Business Environment

New Shanghai Action Plan, China’s commercial hub, is taking measures to enhance its business climate with the latest iteration of the Shanghai Action Plan for Strengthening Integrated Innovation and Continuously Optimizing the Business Environment. The plan’s primary goal is to create an international-first-class economic climate with the most convenient trade and investment, outstanding administrative efficiency, standardized government services, and a complete legal framework.

The city has specified responsibilities in 10 areas to improve the competitiveness of its business environment, including market access, purchase of commercial premises, access to financial services, cross-border commerce, tax payment, market competition promotion, and bankruptcy procedures. The strategy seeks to simplify cross-border commerce by encouraging a paperless switch bill of landing and online verification of import tariff limits.

Here is a short breakdown for each section of the Action Plan:

  • Market Entry & Exit. Improve the enterprise registration digital platform, increase electronic registration, simplify registration materials, and enhance online handling features. It also establishes a thorough review mechanism for the negative list for market access and foreign investment, as well as enhances the firm closure filing procedure.

  • Acquire Business Premises. Establish a performance evaluation system to improve reforms, strengthening the “one system” function, merging single department matters into one process, allowing whole construction projects to be handled online, implementing “pile foundation first,” and extending phased completion acceptance to emergency projects, upgrading district-level approval centers, optimizing planning, land, and approval processes, increasing disclosure and sharing of real estate registration data, and increasing disclosure and sharing of real estate registration data.

  • Installation of municipal public infrastructure. Improve the combined installation method for water, electricity, and broadband networks, and implement one-form application, one-stop acceptance, joint survey, one-stop service, and one-window consultation. Implement measures that lessen companies’ costs, such as a “zero burden” policy for water and power hookups outside of building red lines.

  • Employment Improvements. Creating a comprehensive digital platform for public employment services, expanding employee recruiting and insurance registration changes, improving labor dispute settlement, and enforcing labor laws are all priorities. Encourage amicable labor relations, employee training, and hiring incentives for critical groups. Protect the rights of persons in flexible work through piloting injury protection and extending social security coverage.

  • Access to financial services. Policy improvements in secured transactions, electronic payments, and green finance will improve financial services. Policies like loan discounts and fee reductions, government financial assistance, an inclusive financial advice system, and free account opening services will be adopted to enhance access to financial services. The public credit information platform and big data inclusive finance will be improved, allowing socialized credit reporting institutions and private capital investment in green sectors to coexist. The moveable property finance system will be optimized, focusing on long-term financial services.

  • Cross-Border Trade Promotions. Shanghai intends to improve cross-border trade by boosting paperless operations and enhancing customs clearance efficiency through the “single window” of international trade. The city intends to expand the experimental operation of direct pick-up for imported products and advance unaccompanied inspection reform. It also plans to tighten port charge supervision and increase foreign trade services.

  • Tax Reductions. Various tax and charge reduction measures and the electronic tax payment system will be adopted to lower the tax burden on businesses. Streamline the procedures for VAT credit refund, export tax refund, corporate income tax final settlement, and payment refund. Improve tax service accuracy and efficiency by “centralized deployment + intelligent response + full-process interaction + inquiry and evaluation integration.” Improve the tax dispute settlement system and streamline the inter-provincial relocation procedure in the Yangtze River Delta.

  • Settle Commercial Disputes. Implement online case management to increase efficiency and convenience. Expand minor claims procedures and make uncomplicated matters easier to resolve. Create a one-stop platform for international-related conflicts, increasing the efficiency of resolving foreign disputes. Improve litigants’ convenience by strengthening the push mechanism for trial information. Improve the quality of alternative conflict resolution by supporting the growth of arbitration and mediation. Encourage “one item” conflict resolution reform.

  • Promote Market Competition. Improve the city’s fair competition evaluation systems. Enhance the fair competition examination of significant policies at the city and district levels. Stop using administrative authority to limit competition. Create regulations for fair competition in crucial sectors. Encourage competition compliance. Remove obstacles in bidding and government procurement for non-local businesses. Improve payment speed, strengthen the “one-net transaction” platform for public resources, and promote full-process electronic transactions. Standardize industry associations’ billing practices.

  • Handling bankruptcies. Improve the online inquiry system for bankruptcy information and create a “one-net” method for property information. Encourage online bankruptcy property disposition, enhance corporate reorganization, and expand credit rehabilitation services for reformed businesses. Encourage small business bankruptcy proceedings, rescue finance for bankruptcy reorganization firms, and adopt new local legislation. Improve the linking mechanism for dealing with bankruptcy and the quality of public services in the field of bankruptcy.


The plan also seeks to optimize life services and improve the satisfaction of market players through better government services, credit services, and intellectual property protection. 


Click here for the full plan:

The most recent action plan is a promising start toward improving Shanghai’s economic and business environment. 

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