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The State Council's Five Measures to Stabilize Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment

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The executive meeting of the State Council proposed that preparations should be made for the preparation of the Spring Canton Fair.

State Council Premier Li Keqiang hosted an executive meeting of the State Council on March 10 to determine new measures to deal with the impact of the epidemic and stabilize foreign trade and foreign investment. The meeting pointed out that in accordance with the arrangements of the Party Central Committee and the State Council, to coordinate the advancement of epidemic prevention and control and economic and social development, we must persist in expanding opening to the outside world, and take various measures to stabilize foreign trade and foreign investment.
The meeting put forward a total of five measures to stabilize foreign trade and foreign investment. The first is to reimburse all export products that have not been fully refunded except the "two highs and one investment" in a timely and full manner. The second is to guide financial institutions to increase foreign trade credit and implement policies such as loan deferred repayment of principal and interest. The small, medium and micro foreign trade enterprises that have been affected by the epidemic and have good prospects can extend it through negotiation. The third is to support commercial insurance companies to develop short-term export credit insurance business and reduce rates. Fourth, do a good job of preparing for the Spring Canton Fair and vigorously promote foreign trade cooperation. Fifth, step up efforts to further reduce the negative list of foreign investment access. Expand the catalog of industries that encourage foreign investment, so that foreign investment in more areas can enjoy preferential policies such as taxation. Sixth, we must ensure that domestic and foreign-funded enterprises enjoy the same benefits as the recent tax reduction and other policies to help enterprises with their difficulties.
"If the Canton Fair opens, we will definitely go. Spring is the time for customers to place orders." Cao Yun, manager of the export sales department of Yangzhou Shengjie Hygienic Products Co., Ltd., told First Financial reporter.
Yangzhou Shengjie Sanitary Products Co., Ltd. mainly produces various types of wet tissues, with annual sales of 30 to 40 million yuan. Products are mainly exported to Europe, Australia, Canada and other countries and regions, of which Europe accounts for more than 50% of the company's overseas markets. They have participated in the Canton Fair for more than 20 consecutive years, and more than 50% of the order volume will be finalized at the Canton Fair each year. "A lot of old customers will come, and it will play a very important role (for our annual order volume)."
Cao Yun said that the company will also participate in foreign exhibitions, but compared to the Canton Fair opened at the door, (foreign exhibitors) not only consume more time, but also cost more.
The Canton Fair, also known as the China Import and Export Fair, was founded in the spring of 1957 and is held in Guangzhou in the spring and autumn of each year. It is currently the longest history, the highest level, the largest scale, the most complete product variety, and the largest number of buyers at the fair. The broadest comprehensive international trade event in a country.
The 126th China Import and Export Fair, which ended on November 4, 2019, had an export turnover of 207.09 billion yuan (US $ 29.288 billion); 25,000 exhibitors at the export show, 642 exhibitors at the import show, and overseas buyers 186,000 people.
However, the development of the epidemic has forced many companies, including foreign trade companies, to face more uncertainty.
At the regular press conference of the Ministry of Commerce on March 5, Li Xinggan, the director of the Foreign Trade Department of the Ministry of Commerce, said that from the local and industry reflections, foreign trade enterprises faced common issues such as difficulty in resuming work and transportation. External difficulties such as difficulties in fulfilling contracts, difficulties in fulfilling contracts, poor international logistics, and increasing trade barriers make the foreign trade situation even more severe.
Therefore, guaranteeing orders, guaranteeing markets, and fulfilling contracts are the biggest challenges currently facing foreign exporters.
The epidemic is spreading further across the globe, and foreign trade companies may face the risk of further decline in overseas demand and inability to coordinate upstream and downstream of the industrial chain.
At present, there are more than 100 countries and regions affected by the epidemic, including China's major trading partners such as Japan, South Korea, the European Union, and the United States. According to the WHO daily epidemic report, as of 10:00 on the 10th Central European Time (17:00 on the 10th Beijing time), the number of confirmed cases of new coronary pneumonia outside China reached 32,778; the number of deaths outside China reached 872.
On February 17, the WTO ’s official website released a new weather index for merchandise trade, which showed that the index was 95.5 in the first quarter, lower than 96.6 in November 2019, and also far below the baseline value of 100, indicating the growth prospects of global merchandise trade. Continue the downward trend since the third quarter of 2019. In addition, if the recent epidemic of new coronavirus (COVID-19) is taken into account, the outlook for global trade will weaken further.
The Merchandise Trade Weather Index, as a supplement to WTO statistics, aims to judge the growth trend of global trade. An index of 100 indicates that growth is consistent with a medium-term trend; greater than 100 indicates higher trends, and lower than 100 indicates lower trends.
Therefore, how to stabilize the basic structure of foreign trade, enrich the policy toolbox, help enterprises more accurately, develop a diversified international market, support the rapid development of new foreign trade formats, and maintain the stability of the global supply chain requires the concerted efforts of all parties.
At a press conference on March 5, Li Xinggan said in response to a question from China Business News that at present, China is paying close attention to the development of the global epidemic situation and also noted that some of China's important trading partners have been affected by the epidemic situation, giving the global industry chain The smooth operation of the company has caused some disturbances, and the supply chain of multinational enterprises has been the first to be affected.
In order to minimize the impact of the epidemic on the development of foreign trade, various localities and departments have issued intensive foreign trade policies, and comprehensively used fiscal, financial, export credit guarantee and other means to support foreign trade enterprises to resume work and resume production, to protect the market, and to secure orders.
At present, the resumption of production and production of foreign trade enterprises is also accelerating. As of March 8th, the resumption rate of foreign investment industries in Shanghai was 99.9%, and the resumption rate of foreign trade industries was 99%. On March 6, Zheng Jianrong, director of the Guangdong Provincial Department of Commerce, said that the rate of return to work for key foreign trade enterprises in the province reached 93%, and the rate of returning to work for key foreign trade companies was over 70%.
At present, the impact of the outbreak on Yangzhou Shengjie Sanitary Products Co., Ltd. is not large. Orders have been completed a number of years ago. Most of the 70 and 80 workers at the factory have resumed work and production capacity has been restored by 80%.
The impact Cao Yun felt is that the current global demand for nonwovens has increased significantly, leading to rising raw material prices. "We also told our customers that we can place orders in advance, and we will help our customers to stock up some raw materials first."
But she seemed very positive, thinking that there would be opportunities at risk. For example, the expected demand for wet wipes for antibacterial and antivirus efficacy will be magnified, "If you can seize business opportunities and adjust the product structure, you can overtake the curve."
Customs statistics show that in the first two months of this year, China's foreign trade imports and exports amounted to 4.12 trillion yuan, down 9.6%. Among them, exports were 2.04 trillion yuan, down 15.9%; imports were 2.08 trillion yuan, down 2.4%. The decline in foreign trade imports and exports was mainly affected by factors such as the new crown pneumonia epidemic and the extension of the Spring Festival holiday.
The head of the relevant department of the General Administration of Customs stated that there were some positive factors in the import and export of foreign trade in the first two months. For example, imports and exports to ASEAN and countries along the “Belt and Road” have continued to grow. ASEAN has become China's largest trading partner. The total import and export volume with the countries along the “Belt and Road” was 1.3 trillion yuan, accounting for 31.7%, and the proportion exceeded 30% for the first time. The deepening of economic and trade cooperation with countries along the "Belt and Road" has expanded the space for China's foreign trade development and played an important supporting role in stabilizing China's basic foreign trade.
Customs data monitoring also shows that in February China's foreign trade import and export value increased by the tenth, and the number of enterprises' declarations increased by the tenth. According to a survey of 2552 foreign trade sample companies, 80.6% of them have resumed work.
Li Xinggan said that the international market demand structure is relatively stable, and production and living needs are rigid. Under the influence of sudden public events, it is normal for a certain degree of fluctuation to occur, and it is generally within a reasonable range.