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Key meeting: Get nation back to work

By XU WEI | China Daily | Updated: 2020-04-18 07:29
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Staff members work at a construction site in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, March 26, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

Expanding investment, consumption crucial while avoiding return of virus

A key Party meeting on Friday pledged greater efforts to expand domestic demand, increase investment and help small and medium-sized enterprises survive the COVID-19 pandemic with normalized containment measures in place.

The Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee underlined the importance of preventing a possible domestic rebound of the outbreak and stabilizing economic fundamentals while ensuring the people's basic living needs are met.

The meeting presided over by Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, called for efforts to help businesses get back to work and production at full capacity, restore the normal economic and social order and foster new growth points while continuing epidemic containment measures on a regular basis.

It is important to unleash the potential of consumption, enable businesses to resume operations, boost consumer buying and appropriately raise public spending, said a statement released after the meeting.

To bolster investment, the country will carry out renovations of old residential communities, ramp up investment in traditional and new types of infrastructure, spur the upgrading of traditional sectors and boost investment into emerging strategic sectors, the statement said. More work must be done to spur private investment and encourage exporters to explore the domestic market.

The meeting called for quicker steps to carry out measures such as tax cuts, fee reductions and lowering of financing costs and rents to boost SMEs, which account for about 80 percent of urban employment. The country must maintain the stability and competitiveness of its industry and supply chains with efforts to coordinate the resumption of business operations at full capacity within industry chains, the statement said.

Meeting participants noted that the first quarter has been highly unusual, given the sudden outbreak of COVID-19 causing unprecedented disruptions to social and economic development.

However, the Chinese economy has shown great resilience, with business operations now approaching or reaching normal levels and the pandemic spawning new sectors and business models and pushing the growth of other sectors, the statement said.

The meeting also highlighted the unprecedented challenges in economic growth, saying that difficulties, risks and uncertainties must be fully reckoned with.

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