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Shanghai cuts red tape for approval

    SHANGHAI plans to drastically shorten the time to scrutinize non-state investment projects from the current 105 working days to between 15 and 48 working days as it bids to improve the approval process.

    The city government’s new reform to examine non-state investment projects to make it more efficient and improve the business environment will take effect from March 1.

    The time taken to scrutinize non-state investment projects will be greatly shortened from the current 105 working days for all categories. The maximum time taken to approve various projects will be set at 15, 35 and 48 working days respectively for industrial projects, small-scale projects and other non-state projects.

    The reform will also cut from seven to three the number of departments involved in approving the project design.

    The reform also emphasizes strengthening supervision over on-going projects and also after they are completed.

    Shanghai will also promote one-stop online and offline services to help companies fully understand the requirements, related policies and application processes.

    The World Bank’s “Doing Business” report for 2018 says Shanghai’s approval of construction permits covers 23 stages and takes 279 days. China, meanwhile, is ranked 172nd in the report, which represents a large gap with some developed economies such as Singapore.