CBBC News: China’s National People’s Congress

China’s National People’s Congress

The China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) ended on 20th March in Beijing. A new leadership team was confirmed, click here for Reuters’ take on China’s new economic team. For the BBC’s view on how China’s government has changed after the NPC – click here.

There was lots of discussion around policy, the role of the Party and removing restrictions on term limits for the President. For how this might impact business, read CBBC Board Member Gordon Orr’s piece at this link

key point for CBBC members to note is the reshuffle of cabinet responsibilities and some of the ministries. Here are some of the higher profile ones:

  • The merger of the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) and China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC)
  • A “powerful new competition and food safety regulator”
  • A new Ministry of Ecological Environment will be founded
  • A Ministry of Natural Resources will be created
  • A new anti-corruption agency, called the National Supervision Commission, was proposed

You can read more about these changes at this link
There may not have been new large-scale business initiatives announced but strong political trends were reinforced at the conference around:

  • Poverty reduction – Ambitious plans to reduce poverty demonstrates that the leadership wants to continue to grow the middle classes. Providing services and products for China’s growing consumption is one of the UK’s major competitive advantages. This brings opportunities in retail, education, healthcare and beyond
  • Countering pollution – Indirectly this could result in opportunities for UK companies with eco-friendly tech in construction, water and waste management, for example, that tackle legacy pollution. Looking more to the future, opportunities will increase for UK companies in sectors such as low emission cars, robotics and AI.
  • Tackling risk – Increased foreign participation in domestic financial markets will drive up standards and help the Party deal with issues such as leveraging. CBBC is working hard to support our world-beating financial services companies in this area.

In the medium and long term, these political trends are positive for UK companies. An important aspect in line with promoting imports (see the CIIE in November at this link), import taxes and tariffs are likely to be reduced in 2018.