Premier Li Keqiang called on effective measures to support active and orderly work resumption in manufacturing and circulation industries at the State Council executive meeting on March 24.
The Premier said that the current global outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic has had a severe impact on the world economy and brought many rigorous challenges to China’s domestic economy. Measures must be carried out to further expand effective demand, support stricken enterprises and stabilize employment.
Scientific and accurate epidemic prevention and control must be continued to deal with newly diagnosed cases, while epidemic-related information must be distributed to the public with openness and transparency. On that basis, the orderly work resumption in manufacturing and circulation industries should be sped up, said Premier Li.
Supporting micro, small and medium-sized enterprises
Premier Li heard a report on the major difficulties for the manufacturing industry to resume work. It was reported that even though many large enterprises are resuming operations, most of their supporting micro, small and medium-sized enterprises have not been able to do so. Thus the upstream and downstream industrial chain and supply chain are blocked.
In light of this, Premier Li asked to further carry out favorable policies for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises to help them resume work as soon as possible and increase the coordination and mutual support between large enterprises and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.
During an inspection of the State Council’s mechanism for work and production resumption four days before the executive meeting, Premier Li had a video call with two large enterprises. Both their biggest problem in work resumption was the failure of on-time supplies from their supporting micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.
Those at the meeting decided to stabilize the industrial chain and supply chain by resolving the problems impeding work resumption in the whole industrial chain of manufacturing, especially ensuring orderly production of influential enterprises and key products in the global industrial chain.
Scheduled policies and measures to support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and individual businesses should be further carried out. Financial institutions should increase the proportion of credit loans, refinance and medium and long-term loans, and guide more of the new loans to support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. To achieve mutual development, large and leading enterprises are encouraged to make use of financing and give advance cash payments to their upstream and downstream micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.
Offline circulation industry to recover through online business
It was reported at the meeting that the circulation industry has been one of the hardest hit industries during the epidemic. Many people are still concerned about the spread of illness, which has led to slower work resumption in the circulation industry. Also, consumer confidence and sales still need time to recover.
Premier Li said that it is difficult to resume offline consumption with an administrative order. Instead, the market needs to heal itself. Currently, the priority is to further develop online consumption and continually meet people’s needs. Government departments must help offline businesses such as restaurants and shops go through this difficult period.
The Premier said that market supply is gradually recovering with orderly work resumption, but related government departments must pay attention to matching the demand side with the supply side. More market-oriented approaches should be used to stimulate consumption, he added.
The meeting decided to breed and expand new forms of consumption by developing online services like retail, catering, medical inquiry and education. Rural areas are encouraged to develop e-commerce to improve the sales of agricultural products. Online business negotiations and exhibitions are encouraged while overseas market demands are shrinking.
The China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair) scheduled for this spring may also be postponed or held online according to new changes in the global epidemic.
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