Summary of Face-to-Face Public Consultation

Post Time: 2020-07-20
     Host: Ding Zheng, Standing Committee director, Yiwu Municipal People’s Congress

 

Representative He Dexing: In order to accelerate the construction of the world’s “small commodities center,” the Yiwu Municipal Party Committee has established the goal of “creating a model city with a world-class business environment.” What specific measures has the Yiwu Municipal Government taken in this regard?

 

Fang Xiuying, deputy director of the Yiwu Municipal Development and Reform Bureau: According to the deployment of the Yiwu Municipal Party Committee and the Municipal Government, we have mainly done the following work:

First, we have developed the overall design of a model city for the business environment. We commissioned the Development Research Center of the State Council to comprehensively evaluate the development level of Yiwu’s business environment and draw up the plans for a model city with a high-quality business environment according to international standards. At present, the Center has produced a preliminary framework.

Second, we formulated and issued the 2020 Key Points of Building Yiwu into a Model City with a World-Class Business Environment. At present, we are solidly advancing all of this work.

Third, we obtained the approval of the State Administration for Market Regulation in 2020 to carry out pilot projects for business environment standardization. We will establish local standards with Yiwu’s characteristics.

Fourth, we aim to take the lead in the construction of a “fee-free city.” In 2020, we will deepen the reform on related systems in key areas, such as administrative fees and charges for state-owned companies’ monopoly operation. We will establish a system to regulate company-related charges, cancel illegal charges, and strive to build Yiwu into a “fee-free city.”

Fifth, we will continue to deepen the reform of the business environment. Our departments will absorb the experience of advanced regions such as Beijing and Hangzhou, and try to launch optimal plans for the reform.

 

Representative Zhu Yanjun: Due to COVID-19, international orders for Yiwu businessmen have decreased tremendously. What targeted measures has the Yiwu Municipal Government taken to promote market prosperity?

 

Wang Dong, general manager of Zhejiang China Commodities City Group Co., Ltd. (ZCCCG): Honestly, the pandemic has had a great impact on Yiwu’s market, especially Yiwu’s foreign trade market. In order to solve the difficulties, the Yiwu Municipal Party Committee and Municipal Government introduced a series of policies, such as Four Opinions on Supporting Micro and Small Enterprises and Market Operators to Resume Work and Develop Well (Four Opinions) and Six Opinions on Supporting Market Development (Six Opinions). The policies have played a positive role. From January to May, Yiwu’s exports reached 97.2 billion RMB. Specifically, the export volume in May reached 31.5 bn RMB, a year-on-year increase of 18.6%. Other measures include:

A series of rent and fee reduction actions: ZCCCG, Landport Group, and Yiwu Market Development Group reduced rent in February and March for their market merchants, totaling 476 million RMB in reductions.

Second, we have actively attracted purchasers. We organized 20 groups to visit 27 provinces and cities and attract nearly 175,000 purchasers, who are expected to boost the turnover of domestic trade by over 2 bn RMB. Now Yiwu’s market is gradually recovering from pandemic-related hardships, and about 10,000 domestic purchasers apply for market admission through the Yixingou platform every day.

Third, we have made every effort to create an online market. The trade service platform of Yiwu small commodities city (chinagoods.com) integrates product display and transaction, smart logistics, supply chain financing, and other functions. The website was launched for online testing on April 15 and will be officially launched in October 2020. It is expected that a transaction volume of more than 10 bn RMB will be completed on this platform this year. On June 18, we signed a series of agreements with Alibaba Group to carry out cooperation in different fields and expand the online market. In addition, we have vigorously encouraged livestreaming. From January to May in 2020, Yiwu released 54,000 broadcasts, selling 40 m products and achieving a retail sales volume of 8 bn RMB.

Fourth, we have accelerated our domestic distribution of secondary networks for the market. We have established stations in 10 cities across the country, mainly relying on ZCCCG, to help market operators open domestic trade markets.

Fifth, we have advanced the expansion of overseas network distribution. We have built overseas warehouses, covering a total area of 254,000 m2, to carry out overseas stocking business. In addition, we have established exhibition halls in the Czech Republic, Dubai, and Rwanda and transported nearly 10,000 products, so as to facilitate overseas purchasers placing orders directly in their local exhibition halls.

Sixth, we have tried our best to open up overseas logistics channels. The China Railway Express (CRE) trains have played an important role in smooth supply chain operations. In terms of air cargo charter, we newly opened Yiwu-Europe, Yiwu-Osaka, and Yiwu-Zhengzhou-New York routes. As for warehousing, the State Council approved the establishment of the Yiwu Comprehensive Bonded Zone in March, which will be put into operation within a year. With the strong support of the Yiwu Municipal Party Committee and the Municipal Government, ZCCCG will establish a warehouse covering more than 100,000 m2 in the south of District 5 of the Yiwu International Trade Market in order to further reduce storage costs for businessmen.

Seventh, we are vigorously developing import trade. We will build a bonded import market in the Yiwu Comprehensive Bonded Zone. We will establish a pilot zone to promote 30-second customs clearance and introduce new categories of goods. Through these measures, we aim to gradually expand and boost our import trade.

Eighth, we have promoted credit insurance reform for market procurement. The government provides a guarantee for all market merchants in order to reduce their export risks, so that businessmen can accept orders and export goods without worry.

 

Representative Wang Tingting: Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the Yiwu Municipal Government has enacted many policies to help companies resume work and production, which has effectively promoted the smooth and stable development of Yiwu’s companies. During the implementation of the policies, however, some companies reported encountering problems such as too many approval processes and long wait times. It seems these problems have affected the effectiveness and pertinence of the policies. Will “One-Time Visit” or even “Zero-Time Visit” become a reality when the government fully implements the policies?

 

Wang Chenggang, director of the Financial Office of the Yiwu Municipal Government: During the pandemic, the Yiwu Municipal Party Committee and Municipal Government developed many preferential policies, such as Four Opinions and Six Opinions. When implementing the policies, we have simplified the procedures as much as possible by promoting the “One-Time Visit” reform. For example, businessmen can apply for loans and be approved online, with banks providing all supporting services. Next, we will arrange specific employees to advance financial work so that people can experience “One-Time Visit” or even “Zero-Time Visit.” We promise that we will try our best to solve the difficulties or problems that companies encounter and report to us. We strive to provide the best of services.

 

Representative Zhou Huayue: The “night economy” and “street stall economy” have been booming recently. What measures will the relevant departments take to maintain the prosperity of night markets in Yiwu while streamlining city administration and improving urban management?

 

Huang Zhen, director of the Yiwu Urban Management and Law Enforcement Bureau: The “night economy” and “street stall economy” are helping stimulate employment and respond to the current economic crisis, creating a positive impact in society after the resumption of work and production. By the end of 2019, Yiwu had 45 night markets, more than 8400 stalls, and over 13,000 self-employed workers. We are adopting centralized and standardized management to realize the balance between city administration and roadside businesses.

First, we created standards. Night markets and food stalls which meet our standards can operate in designated areas during stipulated hours, after passing a joint examination and getting the approval of the Night Market Leading Group Office and relevant departments. Those failing to meet the standards, however, are still banned, and misconduct will be strictly investigated and dealt with according to the law.

Second, we aim to build demonstration night markets with Yiwu’s characteristics. For some night markets that have not yet opened, we promote their resumption by giving advice and guidance.

Third, we will improve our working mechanism, clarify responsibilities, and form a closed-loop system to discover and address problems and give feedback. We will strengthen law enforcement and cooperate with the public security and market supervision departments to carry out the investigation and punishment of illegal acts.

 

Representative Wang Qiang: Due to the cases involving anti-money laundering, gangsters, and terrorists, the operating accounts of common market operators have occasionally been frozen by public security authorities from other provinces by accident. Furthermore, sometimes the public security authorities have seized assets from common stores, which affect the daily operations and stability of the market. May I ask what measures the Yiwu government and the public security department have taken to help market operators protect themselves, and what measures have been taken to accelerate the process of unblocking the frozen accounts?

 

Bao Zhihong, member of the Party Committee of the Public Security Bureau of Yiwu and director of the Economic Investigation Department: As a commodities center, Yiwu witnesses many international trades every day. Due to changes in tax policies and foreign exchange reserves, some countries are unable to do normal trade transactions with China. That’s the main reason for the frequent blocking of operating accounts. The developing technology also facilitates account freezing. In addition, affected by the nationwide crackdown on “underground banks,” the number of accounts and the amount of money blocked in Yiwu have increased since last year.

To solve the problems mentioned, we have taken three measures. One is to ask for policy support from higher-up departments. Since the second half of last year, the Yiwu Public Security Bureau has reported the excessive freezing of accounts to the Ministry of Public Security and requested policy support. In January of 2020, the Ministry of Public Security issued a policy stipulating that the number of frozen accounts in a case should be less than 50. To block more than 50 accounts, one should get approval from the provincial public security bureau and submit a written report to explain the reasons within two working days. Second, the public security bureau included unlawful seizure in its quality control assessment, and views the frozen accounts as one of its performance evaluations. Third, this year the Ministry of Public Security issued the “Notice on Further Normalizing Operations” and “Six Prohibitions for Public Security Departments in Dealing with Cases.” Through these three measures, operators’ frozen account issues have eased since June.

In terms of fast-tracking the unblocking of the frozen accounts, the Yiwu Municipal Public Security Bureau has taken three measures. One is to strengthen collaboration and take initiative: after receiving a report about frozen accounts from the operators or relevant departments, we immediately contact the department in charge of the case and assist in making notes and collecting evidence to expedite the process of unblocking the account. Second, if large numbers of money and accounts are involved, we will dispatch policemen to local public security departments to assist in the account unblocking process. Third, we communicate with the operators and local public security through video call to collect evidence and make notes, which improves the efficiency of evidence collection during the pandemic period.

 

Jiang Dong, deputy mayor of Yiwu and director of the Yiwu Municipal Public Security Bureau: During the “Two Sessions1,” Lin Yi, secretary of the Yiwu Municipal Party Committee, put forward several proposals on this issue. Next, we will execute the proposals and ensure they are implemented well.

 

Representative Zhu Tingting: At present, Yiwu still needs to do better at attracting talents to work and live in Yiwu and optimizing the environment for talent introduction. We did a survey and found that the percentage of Yiwu-born graduates who choose to work in Yiwu is not high. For example, the percentage of graduates from Yizhong Middle School who work in Yiwu dropped from 43.1% in 2015 to 26.7% in 2019, showing a declining trend year after year. So I want to ask, what measures will the government take to improve the talent attraction situation?

 

Zhao Jianming, director of Human Resources and Social Security Bureau of Yiwu: Talents are the best resource, for sure. In recent years, Yiwu has insisted on enacting reforms and taking innovative measures to optimize the living environment for talents, as well as enhancing its recruitment work. So far, Yiwu has issued 930 million RMB in housing subsidies for talents here, and nearly 10,000 talents have enjoyed government subsidies, such as rent subsidies. Furthermore, we have also helped to resolve enrollment issues for the talents’ children.

Next, we will implement the requirements for introducing high-level talents, improve the living environment, and pay more attention to recruitment according to the following four points.

The first point is to offer better services from three aspects. One is to build a housing system for the talents introduced, like building exclusive apartments and issuing housing subsidies, so that people can settle here more comfortably. Another is to guarantee smooth enrollment of the talents’ children, alleviating their concerns of what schools their children can enter. Finally, offering subsidies for graduates who come to Yiwu for start-up opportunities. Based on their degree, the graduates will get a monthly subsidy for three years. For graduates with three years of college education, the subsidy is 400 RMB/month; for graduates with bachelor’s degree, it’s 800 RMB/month; for graduates with master’s degree, it’s 1500 RMB; and for graduates with doctorate, it’s 2,000 RMB/ month.

The second strategy is to help students who are starting businesses in Yiwu, including: give a subsidy to students who come to Yiwu for training courses (two-month subsidies at most); give a subsidy of 1,800 RMB per month to students who come to Yiwu for internships; give a subsidy to students who come to Yiwu to job-hunt for the first time; give a subsidy of 3,600 RMB/year for three years for students who work at small- and medium-sized companies in Yiwu; and for students who start businesses in Yiwu, we give a subsidy of 20,000 RMB.

The third strategy is to organize competitions and forums for innovation and entrepreneurship, creating platforms to gather talents and providing opportunities for them to learn from each other and exchange ideas. Each year, we will organize more than 10 entrepreneurial skills competitions and over 40 forums. At the same time, we will explore various project-based entrepreneurship training courses and build post-doctoral workstations, master studios, and training bases for high-skilled talents, as well as a complete cultivation system for entrepreneurship, to better promote the growth of these talents.

The fourth point is to encourage more students to return to Yiwu and to enhance their pride in working and starting up businesses in their hometown. We will focus on students who come from Yiwu with two series of activities: holding events on hundreds of college and university campuses all over the country for Yiwu-born students, which will introduce the advantages of Yiwu, such as talent policies; and inviting high school graduates and students who study in other cities to visit companies in Yiwu. We will help these students—especially those who have just graduated from high school—learn more about the development of Yiwu’s industry and why they should be proud to start a business in their hometown.

 

Lin Yi, secretary of the Yiwu Municipal Party Committee: In recent years, we have introduced a large number of industrial manufacturing companies, which brought in many students with high degrees, and the talent structure has been optimized. From January to May this year, the number of people who came to Yiwu for start-ups doubled that of the same period last year. In addition, we also released a 20-episode TV documentary called A History of Yiwu to introduce the origin of Yiwu and help our children know where Yiwu came from. We believe it will encourage more students come back to their hometown and start their own businesses.

 

Representative He Jie: What specific measures does the Yiwu city government have in maintaining the low-cost competitive advantage of logistics and creating smart and efficient logistics in Yiwu? 

 

Lou Xiaodong, Director of Yiwu Market Development Committee: Logistics is the cornerstone of the prosperity of Yiwu, and the prosperity of the market also drives the development of logistics. Logistics cost is a relative concept. For the government, logistics cost is the proportion of logistics driving the entire trade volume in Yiwu. For logistics companies, logistics cost is the ratio of the enterprise’s logistics cost to the overall cost. For market entities and suppliers, the logistics cost is the logistics cost of a specific item.

The government attaches great importance to logistics and has carried out measures to reduce logistics cost. We consider the following three aspects: congregation, space, and informatization. First, keep encouraging logistics companies to move into the logistics industrial park. Last year, we improved the management environment of the logistics companies by combining them into an industrial park. Second, issue permits for more land. Third, to improve the operations of logistics companies through informatization.

 

Representative Zheng Jinlong: Many migrant workers have reported that their Yiwu landlords added extra charges on their water and electricity bills. Is there any way for the government to change this situation?

 

Jin Yangjun, deputy director of Yiwu Development and Reform Bureau: This is a longstanding problem. In response to this, two main tasks have been undertaken. On the one hand, we appealed to higher-level departments, hoping to explore a way to further optimize the business environment in Yiwu. On the other hand, the pilot “water and electricity bills settlement + credit” initiative explores and resolves this issue by stipulating the price guidelines, standardizing the tenant’s water and electricity bills, which will also link to one’s personal societal credits.

 

Lin Yi, secretary of the Yiwu City Party Committee: To resolve this, we cannot just think of seeking policy support from higher-level governments. We must try to solve this problem by improving the tiered bill mechanism in independent households. It is necessary to make fair housing lease contracts and strengthen supervision by issuing formatted, standardized, and fill-in-the-blank contracts. As long as we insist on letting the people benefit and letting the entrepreneurs benefit, there will be a solution.

 

Representative Zhu Baolin: At present, the livestreaming industry continues to thrive in Yiwu. But still there are quite some problems in it. May I ask what specific measures the government has taken to cultivate and strengthen the livestreaming industry to reach the next step?

 

Lou: Livestreaming is a new format of online retail. Its core is the shifting of people, goods, and places. We have made four efforts in response to the shortcomings of Yiwu's livestreaming economic development: first, training professionals; second, attracting well-known livestreaming teams; third, cultivating brands; fourth, strengthening policy support.

 

Representative Liu Qin: At present, the garbage, recycling, and classification work in Yiwu is in full progress and has achieved visible results. However, the survey found that incomplete sorting at the end still exists. What specific measures will the government take next to improve the effectiveness of garbage classification?

 

Huang Zhen, director of Yiwu Urban Management and Law Enforcement Bureau: “Although the waste sorting and recycling in Yiwu has achieved some results, it still has some problems. First, awareness needs to be increased; second, there is a phenomenon of mixed transportation in the middle; third, the sorting capacity needs to be further strengthened, especially for those perishable garbage – for now there are still more than 200 tons of disposed garbage that are not properly dealt with each day. We will focus on the two objectives of improving the garbage sorting and recycling system and detailed management.

 

Chen Wenqing, full-time deputy director of the Agricultural Office: Rural waste disposal is basically similar to that in urban areas. Since 2015, Yiwu has promoted the treatment of rural domestic waste and comprehensively implemented the reduction, recycling, and harmless treatment of rural domestic waste. At present, the main problem is that the households have sorted out the waste in the beginning, but some cleaners and sorters still mix garbage in the middle of collection. We will take the following measures. First, improve garbage transportation trucks by scientifically designing the transportation vehicles for perishable garbage, non-perishable garbage, and harmful garbage. Second, to increase the processing facilities in the middle. There are currently 17 plants in the city that dispose perishable garbage, and five more will be built. Two of those will be completed by the end of September this year. Third, to strengthen the management of the terminal use at the end of the process.

 

Representative Shi Tingting: At present, the “digital economy” is listed as the “No. 1 Project” by the province, but in the survey, we found that the Yiwu’s digital collection and data sharing still needs to be strengthened. May I ask if the municipal government can do an integration to allow a unified platform?

 

Cao Geng, Director of Yiwu Economic and Information Bureau: There are three ways to collect and share data. The first is the e-government platform. The second channel is to work with enterprise QR codes. This is a digital platform designed by the provincial government in response to the pandemic. The enterprise QR code and e-government platform can be interlinked with each other. The third is the industrial big data platform being built.

 

Guo Wei, member of the Party Leadership Group of the Digital Management Center: We strive to break the information barriers between departments and comprehensively integrate, aggregate, share, and apply data. First, we apply the principle of including all information that is available. Second, we actively seek applicability suggestions from the provincial level. We have established a data-sharing channel with the provincial big data bureau and the Jinhua big data bureau and opened a data-sharing domain. The third is to strengthen data governance after data collection is completed, to promote shared applications, and to support the 39 application areas such as government services, market supervision, and policy services. In the next step, by improving the data center architecture, we will accelerate the expansion of data collection coverage, improve data quality, and improve the accuracy and timeliness of data collection, sharing, and application to meet various application needs.

 

Wang Jian, Mayor of Yiwu: The deputies’ questions not only focused on the institutional issues of optimizing the business environment, but also focused on the current spotlight and difficult issues, as well as how to promote economic recovery and continued market prosperity by optimizing the business environment after the pandemic. These questions are astute and practical, reflecting the deputies’ responsible working attitudes, style, and ability to perform duties. The relevant department and people in charge also gave honest answers to those questions. The form of discussion is very good, the atmosphere is also good. The questions raised are mirrors that reflect the shortcomings of the business environment in Yiwu, which implies the insufficiency of government work. We deeply felt the responsibilities on our shoulders. We promise to 1) pay close attention to the problems and resolve them, 2) deepen reform and promote improvement, and 3) optimize service.

 

Lin Yi, secretary of the Yiwu City Party Committee: Today’s “face-to-face Q&A on political affairs” activity demonstrated that deputies are fully engaged in performing duties, aided in reaching consensus on reform and development, and demonstrated the supervision of the Municipal People’s Congress. First, how to improve the business environment? The questions raised today are the catalyst to improving the business environment. Second, determine the strategic direction for optimizing the business environment. At present, the focus should be on the two main lines of industrial transformation and upgrading as well as urban and rural transformation and development. Third, it forced the government to accelerate our own reforms.

 

Ding Zheng, Standing Committee director, Yiwu Municipal People’s Congress: This activity has had the anticipated effect of bringing together governments, departments, and deputies, all with their full conviction of their duty to the city. The Standing Committee of the Yiwu People’s Congress will sort out these questions further and turn them over to the relevant departments to resolve them. To optimize the business environment, we are always progressing. Hopefully, deputies will keep contributing to the development of the city. (Revised according to the recording by Fu Bolin and Tan Zhixiao; translated by Jin Haiqiong, Li Ziyi, and Lin Yuqing; edited by Mariam Ayad and Kendra Fiddler)

 

Translator’s note:

1. Two Sessions is the abbreviation indicating the annual plenary sessions of the national People’s Congress and the national Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.

Source text:

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