OECD Reviews of Regulatory Reform: China 2009

Defining the Boundary between the Market and the State

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China has made enormous progress in developing the modern legal and regulatory foundation for the market economy. The private sector is now the main driver of growth, and new laws have gone a long way toward establishing private property rights, competition, and mechanisms for entry and exit comparable to those of many OECD countries. At the same time important challenges remain, including further clarification of the scope of state ownership, reform of relations among central and local governments, firmer establishment of the rule of law, and strengthening of regulatory institutions and processes.


This review of China's regulatory system focuses on the overall economic context for regulatory reform, the government’s capacity to manage regulatory reform, competition policy and enforcement, and market openness. The review also examines the regulatory framework in the electricity, water and health care sectors. As for OECD countries, the review follows a multidisciplinary and highly interactive approach. A number of OECD instruments and policies are used in this assessment, although the review also takes into account the specific challenges faced by the Chinese authorities. The review includes a comprehensive set of policy recommendations.

English Also available in: French

Infrastructure Services

Lessons from 30 Years of Reform in OECD Countries

The organisation of infrastructure industries in OECD countries has undergone massive changes in the past thirty years. Taken as a whole, their experience constitutes a rich source of information on infrastructure service industries and their governance. Such information can be of great value for the People’s Republic of China, where infrastructure development will be one of the major development challenges in the years to come. The aim of this chapter is to provide an overview of the experience of OECD countries in the management of their infrastructure service industries, and draw some lessons of relevance for policy making in China. The first part of the note provides a sketch of the public utility model that prevailed in most infrastructure industries of OECD countries until the end of the 1970s, discusses why and how this model has been challenged and gradually modified in the past thirty years, and illustrates some of the opportunities and risks of the reform process through three examples. The second part proposes a more detailed analysis of the main issues that infrastructure industries pose to policy makers today and some possible responses. The third part summarises the policy lessons drawn from the recent experience of OECD countries and examines what this entails for the management of infrastructure services in China. 

English Also available in: French

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