Legal & Regulatory
Plan for promoting employment during the 13th Five Year Plan period
The State Council has issued a plan for promoting employment during the 13th Five Year Plan period, which clarifies the guiding ideas, basic principles, major objectives, key tasks, and guarantee measures for promoting employment. According to the plan, by 2020, the employment scale will be expanded, while employment quality will further improve. New job opportunities in cities and towns will exceed 50 million in total, and the registered unemployment rate nationwide in cities and towns will be brought down under five percent. Nine specific tasks, including building a new-type employment model under the sharing economy, implementation of an entrepreneurship and innovation talent introduction program, supporting migrant workers to return to home to carry out pilot programs of entrepreneurship, implementation of an entrepreneurship training program, a program to advance the development of human resources service industry, have been identified to meet the requirements of the plan.
By Tongyu Zhang
China’s State Council has issued a circular stating the government’s intentions to further open the economy and boost foreign investment. The circular is part of the effort to build China’s so-called “new open economic system”, with measures focusing on streamlining government administration, improving regulations, and reducing institutional transaction costs to create a favorable business environment for foreign investment. The circular is in keeping with the sentiment backed by President Xi Jinping, who has recently released statements defending globalization, and should be seen as a positive signal by the Chinese government to facilitate the opening-up of the economy.
While this infers a more accessible investment environment, complex global economic and political trends, in addition to China’s ongoing economic restructuring, may mean that foreign investors in China will face a challenging year filled with uncertainties. Furthermore, the circular does not set any concrete policies, but rather points to a general direction for the implementation of the measures, which may require some time to be realized.
Promotion of renewable resources industry
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Commerce, and the Ministry of Science and Technology have jointly issued opinions regarding the development of the renewable resources industry. It aims that by 2020, a renewable resources industry system in possession of an innovative management system, advanced technical equipment, strong capability of resisting risks, and healthy and orderly development will be established. It also sets out goals that the recycling and utilization quantity of renewable resources will reach 350 million tonnes. It targets eight key fields of renewable resources, including iron and steel scraps, waste plastics, waste paper, waste tyre, and waste electrical and electronic products.
An Introduction to Doing Business in Hong Kong 2017, now available through the Asia Briefing Publication Store, is designed to introduce the fundamentals of investing in Hong Kong. Compiled by the professionals at Dezan Shira & Associates, this comprehensive guide is ideal not only for businesses looking to enter the Hong Kong market, but also for companies that already have a presence here and want to keep up-to-date with the most recent and relevant policy changes.
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Within these chapters, we discuss a range of different topics that affect doing business in Hong Kong, including investment models, key taxes applicable for foreign companies, and employment contracts.
By Tongyu Zhang
On December 26, 2016, China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) issued guiding opinions on promoting a simplified deregistration process for enterprises, with March 1 2017 set as the date for nationwide implementation. The new procedure’s primary aim is to accelerate market exit for qualified enterprises, including foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs), while also improving the accuracy of data for policymakers regarding business volume, corporate structure, and management.
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In the 30 years since Deng Xiaoping’s “reform and opening-up” policy of 1978, China’s GDP has developed at an unprecedented rate, averaging 10 percent growth per annum. However, the relentless momentum of investors turning their sights towards China has softened of late. A slowed projected GDP growth of 6.7 percent in 2016 – the lowest in 25 years – combined with stock market volatility has caused alarm among observers.
While some of these fears are grounded in reality, others are overblown. After decades of rapid growth and development, the Chinese economy is inevitably changing. The Middle Kingdom is undergoing a major overhaul, transitioning to have a service and consumption driven economy rather than one based purely on manufacturing and export. This transition is not unconditionally negative for the country’s competitiveness, and is understandably changing the way in which investors approach and operate in the country. In fact, between January and November 2016, foreign investment in China exceeded US$110 billion, a growth of nearly 34 percent year-on-year.
Plan to develop foreign trade throughout 13th Five Year Plan released
The Ministry of Commerce (MOC) has issued a plan consisting of eight tasks to develop foreign trade during the 13th Five Year Plan period. The plan emphasizes collaborating with competent companies to extend the industry chain, conduct transnational mergers and acquisitions, gain brand advantage as well as core technology and marketing channels, and improve operations to meet international standards. It also espouses the promotion and development of an “Online Silk Road” economic cooperation pilot zone, noting that e-business among the countries and regions within the “One Belt and One Road” should be improved. Financial leasing is an important aspect, and the plan notes that financial leasing enterprises will be encouraged to conduct financial leasing for imported equipment. Competent enterprises are encouraged to carry out overseas resource and energy development as well as the processing, production and import of products that are needed in China.
Directory of relevant regulatory departments of foreign NGOs in China published
China’s Ministry of Public Security has published a list of activity fields and a project catalogue for foreign NGOs operating in China, and a directory of their respective regulatory departments for 2017. Such departments listed will serve as intermediaries between the Ministry of Public Security and foreign NGOs. The Listdivides different fields and matches them with the relevant governmental departments. For example, the General Administration of Sports would be responsible for administering sport NGOs. However, some of the fields will be jointly regulated by multiple government departments, such as NGOs engaging in environmental protection. Before applying for registration of a representative office with the relevant provincial-level People’s Government, a foreign NGO must first obtain approval from the listed intermediary government departments.