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China :New steps to keep foreign trade, investment stable

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Reference:ChinaDaily | Updated: 26 March 2020


China will take new measures to keep foreign trade and investment stable, and help enterprises tide over difficulties to  mitigate the impact of the new virus outbreak.

All export tax rebates except for energy-intensive, polluting and resource products must be made in full without delay, according to a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang Tuesday.

The country will encourage financial institutions to increase foreign trade loans, and fully deliver the policy of loan deferment in principal and interest for promising smaller firms that were deeply affected by the outbreak.

Commercial insurance companies will be supported in offering short-term export credit insurance services and lowering premium rates.

The meeting called for sound preparations for the China Import and Export Fair, also known as the Canton Fair this spring to bolster cooperation on foreign trade.

Efforts should be intensified to shorten the negative list on foreign investment and expand the industries catalogs in which foreign investment are encouraged so that foreign investors in more sectors can receive benefits in terms of tax and other incentives.

Li also urged that recent tax and fee cut policies designed to help companies tide over difficulties should be equally applied to both domestic and foreign-invested enterprises.

The meeting required precise epidemic prevention and control measures in accordance with the epidemic situation of each region, among a faster pace of resuming work and production across the complete industrial chain.

Efforts should be stepped up to strengthen international cooperation with measures such as increasing international freight flights, in a bid to maintain the smooth flow of the global supply chain, the meeting noted.

Financial institutions will be guided to provide more working capital loans and reasonable lines of credit to core enterprises in the industrial chain, said the meeting.

The meeting required further policies and loans to better ensure the capital needs of anti-epidemic supplies, spring farming, manufacturing of global supply chain products, as well as labor-intensive industries.

More targeted reserve requirement ratio cut policies for inclusive finance will be introduced promptly, with standards further lowered for joint-stock banks to drive down enterprises' financial costs.

Amid efforts to mitigate the impact of the epidemic, more measures for deepening reform and opening-up will be studied to stimulate market vitality and boost domestic demand, said the meeting.

The meeting also called for efforts to provide more opportunities for entrepreneurship and the flexible labor market to further stabilize employment.  

Separately, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang said the international community still has confidence in China's economic prospects as no major movement has been seen in industrial and supply chains due to the novel coronvirus.  

Also, China's National Development and Reform Commission urged economic regulators at all levels to further support the work resumption of foreign-funded enterprises and projects and stabilize foreign investment.

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