The Ministry of Commerce says that China has unveiled a range of measures to prop up foreign trade and investment during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ren Hongbin (任鸿斌), assistant minister of the Ministry of Commerce, said that the impacts of the novel coronavirus have brought a “severe challenge” to the growth of foreign trade the likes of which has not been seen in many years.
Ren made the remarks at a press conference held by the State Council on 10 January.
According to Ren China’s imports and exports declined 9.6% YoY in renminbi terms for the period from January to February, including a 15.9% drop in Chinese exports and a 2.4% decline in imports.
“At present the domestic disease control situation continues to improve, and the orderly restoration of work and production by foreign trade enterprises advances,” Ren said.
“However, the global pandemic continues to spread, and bring huge shocks to the global economy and trade.
“Looking at recent research on hitting the bottom, foreign trade enterprises in general face multiple difficulties including cancellations or delays of orders in hand, difficulty signing new orders, and logistics and transportation blockages.”
Ren said that China’s State Council had unveiled a slew of prompt policy measures to stabilise foreign trade, including:
- The approval of measures to improve export rebates and increase foreign trade loans on 10 March,
- Approving the creation of a new e-commerce integrated trial zone on 7 March.