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Ministry plans more steps to boost trade

By Jing Shuiyu | China Daily | Updated: 2020-04-03 08:27
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An employee packs smartphones at a production line of Huawei in Dongguan, Guangdong province. [Photo/China Daily]

Efforts aimed at reducing COVID-19 impact on the global supply chains

China will enhance efforts to further stabilize trade, support companies and minimize the COVID-19 epidemic impact on the global supply chain, commerce ministry officials said on Thursday.

Liu Changyu, an official with the Ministry of Commerce's foreign trade department, said as the COVID-19 epidemic has affected more than 200 countries and regions, many economies have implemented unconventional measures to prevent the disease from spreading further, which has inevitably affected the global supply chain to some extent.

Maintaining the stability of the global industrial supply chain is of great significance, Liu said. "It is important to not only fight the contagion but cushion any impact of the global economy slipping into recession," he said.

According to Liu, the ministry will further stabilize foreign trade and facilitate the trade in transformation and upgrading. The ministry will help foster a number of large companies with global competitive advantages, and a large number of dynamic and innovative small and medium-sized enterprises. In addition, it will also take steps to further improve the competitiveness of China-made products in the global supply chain, Liu said.

According to the recent G20 leaders' statement on COVID-19, the member countries are committed to "do whatever it takes to overcome the pandemic", and one of the priorities is to minimize disruptions to trade and global supply chains.

The commerce ministry will implement the consensus reached among G20 leaders, strengthen international economic and trade cooperation, make positive contributions for virus control and boost growth of global trade and investment, said Yang Zhengwei, deputy director-general of the ministry's department of international trade and economic affairs.

China has vowed to make more efforts to stabilize the supply chain, as global concerns over the COVID-19 outbreak keep mounting. This is in sharp contrast to the proposal floated by some US officials in political circles on severing normal supply cooperation.

A new proposal has been reportedly put forward by some US politicians to cut Chinese telecom heavyweight Huawei from global supply chains. According to a US report, the proposed rule change will require foreign companies that use US-made chipmaking technology and software to obtain a license from the US before selling designated types of chips to Huawei.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said during a news conference on Thursday that the Chinese government will by no means turn a blind eye to the bullying stance adopted by the US.

Zhang Yansheng, a senior researcher with the Beijing-based China Center for International Economic Exchanges, said while the novel coronavirus outbreak may be short-lived, the supply chain cooperation is a long-term process.

Supply chain cooperation will evolve and become more flexible due to cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence and 5G, Zhang said.

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