An expert has urged China to cut red tape for Chinese enterprises looking to go global.
Huo Jianguo, president of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, a think tank of the Ministry of Commerce, made the remarks in a program on Chinese reforms aired on Sunday on Xinhua's TV network CNC.
The government should loosen its policy for Chinese firms' investment abroad and speed up the approval process they're required to go through, Huo said.
"More and more domestic companies have tapped the international market in the past few years, but their overall competitiveness is still weak," he noted, attributing the poor performance partly to the unfavorable business environment.
Enterprises should be free to make decisions about overseas investment independently, without government interference, Huo said, stressing that the government should be responsible for deepening market-oriented reform and establishing a healthy environment for fair play.
With various official barriers to overseas expansion, domestic businesses are at a disadvantage in the international market compared with their sophisticated foreign competitors, said Li Jun, president of LED display manufacturer Leyard Optoelectronic Co. Ltd..
"I'm longing for a fair business environment," Li said. "I hope the government can reduce approval procedures and help domestic companies seize opportunities in international mergers and acquisitions."
At an executive meeting of the State Council, China's Cabinet, on Wednesday, Premier Li Keqiang vowed to streamline administrative approvals and delegate power to lower levels.
The government will free another 70 procedures from administrative approval or delegate approval to lower levels in 2014, according to a statement issued after the meeting.
In steps to cut government interventions that hinder growth, more than 300 administrative approval items were removed in 2013, which has helped to drive a notable rise in the number of business registrations.
"China has become the third-largest overseas investor, but is still not a competitive player in the global market," said Huo. "As long as the policy of opening up is promoted continuously and profoundly, Chinese enterprises can grow rapidly in a fairly competitive environment."