Ahead of the 5th China Government Affairs Forum, PublicAffairsAsia has released a three page summary of the key outcomes from the second sessions of the 12th National People’s Congress (NPC) and the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).
The outcomes of the NPC and CPPCC underline that China’s reform agenda is gaining pace. At the CPPCC a total of 4,982 proposals were officially accepted during the 10 day plenum, from 5,875 submitted by delegates. The “two meetings” saw the focus move from setting out policy to its implementation.
Pollution was a leading subject of CPPCC proposals, reflecting growing domestic and international concern on growing levels of air, ground and water contamination in China. Support for livelihoods, healthcare, rural development and social-aid were also prominent amongst submitted proposals. Many of the challenges now facing China’s economic success story are symptomatic of explosive growth that has brought wealth to many, but at a cost that analysts and commentators are now questioning.
The report says: “Enacting progressive reform measures has been a central policy pillar of the government of President Xi Jinping, which took office last year. The Chinese government’s wholesale market reforms are driving competition as investment approval and industrial policies are updated.”
The government’s reform agenda will form the centerpiece of the 2014 China Government Affairs Forum, the only dedicated mainland China conference for corporate government relations practitioners and businesses which are impacted by the government’s wide-ranging reform plans. It will examine how corporate government relations strategies will have to change in an era of greater market freedom, liberalisation and decentralisation.
Commenting, Craig Hoy, Executive Director of PublicAffairsAsia, said: “The Fifth Annual China Government Affairs Forum is set to offer cutting edge insight and strategy for specialist public affairs practitioners and country managers. It will be vital for corporations to be represented at the forum so they can monitor and shape the reform agenda and then build their business in line with the government’s policy priorities.”
The corporate keynote at the event, taking place in Beijing on May 22, will be delivered by Fengming Liu, Greater China Vice President, GE and the industry keynote is set to be delivered by Charles Shen EVP, Corporate & Public Affairs at lead event sponsor Weber Shandwick. Other speakers include Wall Street Journal China Editor Andrew Browne.
During the NPC and CPPCC meetings, Premier Li Keqiang noted that fiscal, tax and financial reforms had been set as a priority in the country’s overall reform agenda in 2014. “In the course of comprehensively deepening reform, we certainly need to be focused on key reforms and initiatives and we need to see breakthroughs in key areas. We will press ahead with fiscal, tax and financial reforms as our priorities this year,” said the premier at a press conference shortly after the conclusion of China’s annual legislative session.
The National Development and Reform Commission also signaled that reform of State Owned Enterprises will be an important focus of reform over the coming year: both to make them more robust, but also to lessen the role they play in some sectors of the economy. The drive against corruption has also attracted prominent attention, yet the full implications of this reform agenda is the subject of intense scrutiny by firms with eyes on the Chinese economy.
The unprecedented political will expressed by China’s government has extraordinary ramifications given the nation’s economic clout. De-throning Japan in 2013, China is now the world’s second largest economy. Few with a business interest in China can afford to underestimate the potential magnitude of these changes or to second-guess their chance of implementation. The implications are profound. Xi Jinping’s personal leadership of the reform agenda has reinforced China’s commitment to change.
The report states: “Market economics in China are now leading the way. The market will now play a ’decisive’ role in resource allocation and both the state and private sectors will be important elements in the economy. This will mean new priorities for industry, and new levels of complexity as China’s economic and administrative mechanisms deepen. Strategic change for business in China is all but inevitable.”
About the China Government Affairs Forum:
The 2014 theme is “Navigating Reform: Government Relations in Market-Driven China” and the forum will take place at The Renaissance Capital, Hotel Beijing on Thursday May 22.
Sessions at the forum, which offers both policy insight and strategy for corporations engaged in China, include:
For the fifth year, the lead event sponsor is Weber Shandwick, and the event is supported by lead partner AmCham China. Other partners include The Confederation of British Industry, AmCham Shanghai, The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, PR Newswire and IMA Asia. Numbers are restricted to 110 attendees to maintain interactivity and senior-level attendance.