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Foreign Groups Laud Government Revamp

The country's revamp of ministries, unveiled on Monday, drew immediate applause from foreign investors and world organizations, who have taken the reorganization as a sign of improved efficiency and reduced bureaucracy.

"China's government reorganization can potentially strengthen public management and policies in a number of areas that are critically important for the country's development," David Dollar, the World Bank's country director for China, said.

Dollar added that the newly established "super ministries", which will handle human resources, construction, transportation, industry and environmental protection, are all areas where China needs strong policies and implementation.

"If the reorganization leads to that, then it will be good for the economy, and for both domestic and foreign investors," the World Bank director said.

Dollar's comments also echo those of the business community.

"We support the creation of a 'super ministry' system to streamline government functions and hope these changes will advance the Chinese government's efforts to improve efficiency and reduce administrative costs," James Zimmerman, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, said.

The greater clout of the new departments should create an opportunity to simplify many approval procedures that affect companies, the European Chamber said in an e-mailed statement.

The increased importance put in environmental protection, with a Ministry of Environmental Protection taking over functions of the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA), has been particularly praised.

"The new super ministry for environmental protection represents a significant upgrading of environmental issues within government," the European Chamber's secretary-general Michael O'Sullivan said.

(China Daily March 13, 2008)

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