The National Academy of Development and Strategy, Renmin University of China, a center that researches ties between governments and business and industrial development, unveiled its “2017 China Municipal Government-Business Relations Ranking” in Beijing on February 26. The ranking, based on existing research findings in China and overseas, evaluated the level of “closeness” and “cleanness” in healthy relationships between governments and business in 285 Chinese cities. Dongguan, Shenzhen and Shanghai were the top three cities, while Shanghai, Beijing and Zhejiang were the three highest-ranking province-level municipalities and provinces, respectively.
The ranking is China’s first report that evaluates the government-business relations of 285 Chinese cities by using official and online data and information garnered through investigations by companies.
The report showed that Dongguan, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Jinhua, Suzhou, Wenzhou, Xingtai and Changsha were the top 10 Chinese cities, while Shanghai, Beijing and Zhejiang were the three highest-ranking province-level municipalities and provinces, respectively.
According to the report, east China performed well in the index, while southwest China and northwest China lagged behind. The higher the administrative level of a city, the higher the score of government-business relations it obtained. Economically-advanced regions obtained higher scores. By introducing the thought of Chinese President Xi Jinping on the new form of government-business relations, the ranking evaluated the “closeness” and “honesty” in the new government-business relations. In terms of close relations, the ranking focused on the government support for companies (10%), government services (40%) and companies’ tax burden (10%). In terms of honesty, the ranking focused on government honesty (10%) and transparency (30%).
The report points out that close relations and honesty show the essence of government-business relations and give an insight into whether or not government-business relations are healthy. Close relations and honesty were less related, indicating they reflect different aspects of government-business relations. The research group’s study showed the correlation between the close relations index and honesty index was 0.31, demonstrating that government’s close relations with companies and maintaining honesty do not contradict each other and governments can maintain a reasonable and proper distance from companies. Due to the anti-corruption campaign launched at the 18th CPC National Congress, governments have become more honest, and the improvement in closer relations is the focus in the near future.
The difference among cities shows whether government-business relations are healthy and depends on “broad environment” as well as “small environment”. The research group’s study showed, government-business relations display obvious geographical agglomeration in different regions and provinces. That means government-business relations in cities are greatly influenced by the “broad environment” of regions. On the other hand, in many regions and provinces, the business environment in cities vary a lot, which means that the “small environment” of cities also matters and cities can develop healthier government-business relations, despite the restrictions of the broad environment of regions.
Ma Liang, Researcher and Assistant to President of the National Academy of Development and Strategy, said that Shenzhen’s high ranking is mainly due to its excellent performance in maintaining close relations with companies, especially in its support and services for companies and reducing their burdens.