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Companies key in COVID-19 fight, growth recovery

By Zhong Nan | | Updated: 2020-06-12 23:52
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Both State-owned enterprises and private companies are vital forces to restore the China's economic development strength and in the global fight against the pandemic, a common enemy facing all mankind, according to speakers at the latest edition of Vision China.

Organized by China Daily, the event, titled "Fighting COVID-19: The Corporate Response" was broadcast online to a global audience on Friday.

"What we are facing now is not only a battle against the epidemic, but also fighting for economic growth. Centrally administrated SOEs have exerted a strong driving force in economic and social recovery. Now they have fully resumed work and production, leading the recovery of industrial chains and supply chains," said Ren Hongbin, vice-chairman of State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, the country's top State asset regulator.

Apart from protecting the life and health of people, central SOEs also stand for the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind, he said.

They have coordinated resources to strengthen international anti-virus cooperation by providing much-needed supplies and assistance to other countries within their capacity, boosting the international community's confidence in defeating the virus, Ren added.

Zhou Shuchun, publisher and editor-in-chief of China Daily, said that in recent months, mankind has been challenged by a public health crisis the likes of which the world has not seen in a century.

As epidemic prevention and control have become a long-term campaign, Chinese enterprises are taking steps to resume business activities while continuing to help fight the disease, Zhou said in his opening remarks.

During the recent two sessions, the annual meetings of the National People's Congress and the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, President Xi Jinping prescribed endeavors to "cultivate new opportunities in crisis and open up new horizons amid drastic changes". This is the new guidance for China's economic development and the new motto for Chinese enterprises.

Zhou said there is no doubt that the business community is a vital force in this global fight against the pandemic. In China, while the medical corps constituted a pivotal part of the battle against the virus in earlier stages, the corporate world has been stepping up to ensure victory in a long-lasting war.

The photo combination shows guest speakers (from left to right) Ren Hongbin, vice-chairman of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council; Yu Xubo, president of COFCO Corporation; Ren Hongpeng, vice-president of China Railway Group Limited; Kuang Ming, founder & CEO of Zhiyun Jiankang Health Consulting; Christelle Chêne, French director of Ningxia Helan Mountains East Foothill Wine Education Institute and Valdemar Rodrigues Augusto Tchipenhe, field applied scientist, Huo-Yan Laboratory in Africa, BGI Genomics. [Photo provided to]

COFCO Corp, China's largest foodstuff producer and grain trader by sales revenue, mobilized its global and domestic resources to deliver urgently needed medical, food and other materials on time to ensure people's livelihoods were protected during the outbreak, said Yu Xubo, president of the Beijing-headquartered group.

Yu said it has delivered a large amount of essential foodstuffs including vegetables, rice, edible oils and meat, to many places in Central China's Hubei province.

He also said it provided large quantities of ethanol for disinfection to virus-hit areas in almost 30 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions nationwide after the epidemic began.

"COVID-19 has connected us and made us re-examine our responsibilities, both as individuals and as businesspeople," Yu added.

Ren Hongpeng, vice-president of China Railway Group, said the group has been teaming up with business partners across the world to sustain its projects, even though a number of infrastructure projects have been slowed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Apart from working to resume operations in overseas markets, the Beijing-based central SOE did urgent construction work on the Huoshenshan and Leishenshan hospitals, which were completed within two weeks in early February and provided more than 2,000 beds for patients in Wuhan, Hubei province.

It also worked around the clock and managed to build 45 emergency hospitals across 11 provinces and cities within 30 days, providing over 33,000 beds for patients in those areas over the past four months.

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