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Unified national market entails reforms in local rules and policies

THEPAPER.CN | Updated: 2023-12-20 08:19

A view of CBD area in Beijing on June 9, 2023. [Photo/VCG]

The executive meeting of the State Council, China's Cabinet, chaired by Premier Li Qiang in Beijing on Monday, stressed the need for accelerating the building of a national unified market and the formation of a new development paradigm to unleash domestic demand and consolidate the foundation for sustained economic recovery.

The just-concluded annual Central Economic Work Conference convened in Beijing also proposed to speed up the building of a unified domestic market through breaking all forms of local protection in institutions, systems and policies.

The emphasis on the issue by the State Council indicates that the building of a unified domestic market is of particular importance to the smooth circulation of goods, the activation of the consumer market, and the high-quality development of the country's economy.

That explains why the meeting emphasized various kinds of institutions and rules that should first be put in place, and the various kinds of obstacles that need to be removed as soon as possible.

Efforts should be made simultaneously on legal, administrative and economic fronts to ensure that enterprises in all regions and industries enjoy equal market access rights across the country.

The meeting called for the removal of institutional obstacles to the circulation of goods and services and the market-based allocation of different kinds of production factors.

Therefore, the meeting stressed that reform in some key areas such as finance, taxation and statistics should be promoted in an active and sound manner. Given that the reform of the fiscal and tax system can help better straighten out the relationship between the administrative and fiscal rights of the central and local governments, whether it will be carried out, and how, will affect the construction of infrastructure, market supervision and law enforcement, and thus affect the building of a unified domestic market.

The new round of fiscal and tax system reform being carried out by the country should give local governments more fiscal resources while trying to improve their fiscal work efficiency.

The key to the building of a unified domestic market is to break local market segmentation and protection, but the main difficulty is that the central government usually does not accurately know which policies adopted by which local governments may cause protectionist effects that hinder the free flow of production factors.

This makes it particularly important that smooth and unblocked information channels should be opened to the people from all walks of life and necessary rectifications should be made in relevant fields in response to the problems revealed.

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