Opening Up and Competitive Neutrality: The International Experience and Insights for China

Seventh High Level Joint Conference
People’s Bank of China and International Monetary Fund

April 24, 2019

As China shifts from high-speed to high quality growth while aiming to control corporate leverage, it has become even more important to ensure that resources are allocated efficiently and irrespective of ownership-type (state-owned, private, foreign, or domestic) or company size. 

Creating such an environment of “competitive neutrality” is challenging and has been the focus of a number of countries and international organizations. Australia, for example, conceived the concept of competitive neutrality in the late 1980s and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in 2011 identified eight building blocks that govern such a strategy. While the terminology might differ across countries, the overarching aim is to create a level playing field for all market participants. 

Recently, the Chinese authorities have put competitive neutrality to the top of their reform agenda, and in the 2019 Report on the Work of the Government (March), Premier Li Keqiang stressed “We will follow the principle of competitive neutrality, so that when it comes to access to factors of production, market access and licenses, business operations, government procurement, public biddings, and so on, enterprises under all forms of ownership will be treated on an equal footing”. 

Hence, the conference will review international experience and determine how it could apply to China. Conference participants will also assess existing developments, discuss the authorities’ reform plans, and identify areas for future work. 

The event will bring together international and domestic experts, staff from the People’s Bank of China, the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Commerce, the State-Owned Assets and Supervision and Administration Commission, the State Administration for Market Regulation, financial sector regulators, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the World Bank, the IMF, academics, as well as private sector representatives. 

The conference is by invitation only. Following the event, we will publish an e-book with presentations and short summaries.

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Opening Remarks

CHEN Yulu, Deputy Governor, People’s Bank of China

Changyong Rhee, Director, Asia and Pacific Department, IMF
9:15-10:30 Session I: The Concept of Competitive Neutrality: The International Experience

Moderator: MIAO Yanliang, Chief Economist, SAFE Investment Center

Speakers (10-15 minutes each):
Michael Brennan, Chair, Productivity Commission, Australia
Thomas Ostros, IMF Executive Director and Former Minister for Industry and Trade Sweden
Antonio Capobianco, Acting Head, Financial and Enterprise Affairs Directorate, Competition Division, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
10:30-10:45 Coffee break
10:45-12:30 Session II: Competitive Neutrality: Stocktaking

Moderator: Martin Raiser, Country Director, World Bank 

Speakers (10 minutes each):
LIU Shijin, Vice Chairman of China Development Research Foundation, Vice Director of the Economic Committee of The National Committee of CPPCC
MO Wangui, Deputy Director General, Research Institute, PBC
YANG Hongfeng, Deputy Director General,Price Supervision and Anti Unfair Competition Bureau, State Administration for Market Regulation
NIE Huihua, Professor and Executive Deputy Dean, National Academy of Development and Strategy, Renmin University of China
Kenneth H. Kang, Deputy Director and Sarwat Jahan, Senior Economist, Asia and Pacific Department, IMF 

12:45-14:00 Lunch

Keynote speaker:  Justin Yifu LIN
, Dean, Institute of New Structural Economics, Peking University
14:00-15:30 Session III: The Way Forward

Moderator: GUO Kai, Deputy Director General, International Department, PBC

Speakers (10 minutes each):
Michael Buchanan, Senior Managing Director, Temasek, Singapore
MA Jun, Director, Center for Finance and Development, Tsinghua University
Nicholas Lardy, Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics
ZHANG Chunlin, Lead Private Sector Development Specialist, World Bank

15:30-15:45 Coffee break
15:45-17:15 Session IV: Opening Up

Moderator: Sally Chen, Resident Representative for Hong Kong SAR, IMF

Speakers (10 minutes each):
GUO Kai, Deputy Director General, People’s Bank of China
HE Dong, Deputy Director, Monetary and Capital Markets Department, IMF
Charlotte Roule, Vice President, European Chamber of Commerce
Era Dabla-Norris, Division Chief, Fiscal Affairs Department, IMF

17:15-18:15 Concluding Roundtable
The panel discussion will draw on key insights from the day’s discussions. Panel members will summarize the main take-always of the four sessions, with a focus on potential lessons for China.

Moderator:  Kenneth Kang, Deputy Director, Asia and Pacific Department, IMF

Alan Beebe, President, American Chamber of Commerce
HUANG Yiping, Professor and Deputy Dean, National School of Development, Peking University
Shaun Roache, Managing Director and Chief Economist, Asia-Pacific, S&P Global Ratings
Rhoda Weeks-Brown, Director, Legal Department, IMF
Guo Kai, Deputy Director General, People’s Bank of China
18:15-18:30 Closing remarks

Alfred Schipke
, Senior Resident Representative, IMF