Containers are unloaded at Qingdao Port in Shandong province in March. [Photo by Yu Fangping/For China Daily]
China's continued efforts to improve market access for both domestic and foreign investment will improve the level of openness and build an efficient, fair and unified domestic market in the country, experts said on Monday.
They said the latest opening-up moves marked a key step in building the new dual-circulation development pattern for the next five years and demonstrated the nation's commitment to deepen reforms and expand opening-up at higher levels.
Their remarks came as China on Sunday unveiled an action plan to build a high-standard market system that is unified, open and competitive with complete regulations and sound governance over the next five years.
The action plan, launched by the General Office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the General Office of the State Council, listed 51 specific measures covering various aspects, including implementing the negative list system for market access and improving market environment and quality.
To achieve the goal, the plan advocated the adoption of a nationwide negative list, promoting fair competition and improving the management system of preestablished national treatment and negative list for foreign investment. It will also better open up the services industry in an orderly manner, with focus on fields such as healthcare, education, sports and environmental protection.
The National Development and Reform Commission, the top economic regulator, said the high-standard market system will support the dual-circulation development pattern and foster high-quality development.
"A high-standard market system will provide a driving force for high-quality development," the NDRC said during a news briefing. "It is conducive to foster a better market environment for fair competition, fully stimulate the vitality and creativity of market players and provide key impetus to economic growth. New measures such as the adoption of a nationwide negative list as well as removing invisible barriers will also help build a unified national market."
Cui Weijie, deputy director of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, said measures like the adoption of a nationwide negative list and advancing fair competition are key to sustaining high-quality development over the long term.
After years of development, the Chinese economy is shifting to a new stage of high-quality development and requires accelerated efforts to create a new development pattern that takes the domestic market as the mainstay while domestic and foreign markets complement each other.
"Under the plan, the government should continue to ramp up efforts to deepen reforms and opening-up, with key priorities in institutional openness and further aligning with internationally accepted trade rules," Cui said.
Liu Chunsheng, an associate professor of international trade with the Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing, said China is entering a new phase that requires high-level institutional construction and a high-quality market system to deepen market reforms and expand opening-up at higher levels.
"The government needs to make a big push to tackle the bottlenecks constraining domestic circulation," Liu said. "More efforts are also needed to transform government functions, offer better government services and form unified standards for building a strong domestic market."