One of the highlights of last year for me was attending

he expansive exhibition commemorating 40 years of reform and opening up at the National Museum of Chin

a. If the day I attended was any indication, it seemed like most of the 2.3 million visitors were wow

ed by the exhibitions about China’s advancement in space exploration and the development of the electronics indu

stry in China. For me, however, it was the exhibit that showed the dozens of official stamps required from different an

d widely dispersed government agencies to open and maintain businesses until recently. Premier Li had pro

mised in an earlier GWR to simplify this process for people like my family members who have small businesses her

e. He certainly kept his promise and in this year’s GWR has indicated that even more will be done.

The 2019 annual World Bank Doing Business report, based o

n 2018 data, provides independent confirmation of the dramatic reduction in red tape. China rock

eted from 78th position to 46th, in terms of ease of doing business, confirming the dramatic year-on-year impr

ovements. In another key metric, establishing a business, China jumped from 93rd to 28th. China also reduced the

number of days needed for starting a company from 22.9 to 9, a timeframe comparable to OECD countries.