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Ministry takes action to shore up foreign trade

Updated: Jun 3, 2022 By OUYANG SHIJIA China Daily Print
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A container vessel docks at the Qianwan Container Terminal in Qingdao, East China's Shandong province on May 1, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

China is taking concrete steps to stabilize foreign trade and investment after economic activity cooled sharply amid pressures from weakening external demand and resurgent COVID-19 cases, officials and analysts said.

Gao Feng, a spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce, told a news conference on Thursday that the ministry will ramp up efforts to resolve difficulties and problems faced by foreign companies regarding their investments and operations in China, and optimize a business environment that is market-oriented, rules-based and internationalized.

Citing the ministry's recent symposium with foreign companies in the mechanical and electrical equipment sector, Gao said participating companies have an optimistic view of the developmental potential of the sector in China, and many firms said they would continue to invest in the nation.

Commenting on foreign enterprises' needs such as promoting the resumption of work and production and ensuring smooth logistics, he said the ministry will work with other relevant departments to study and resolve the difficulties.

The growth of foreign trade and investment in China was stable at the beginning of the year. In terms of renminbi, the nation's imports and exports surged 7.9 percent year-on-year from January through April, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

Over those four months, China's actual use of foreign capital increased 20.5 percent year-on-year, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

However, recent COVID-19 outbreaks this spring in areas such as Beijing and Shanghai have created challenges for the nation's economy.

Sheng Qiuping, vice-minister of commerce, said during a recent news conference that China has the confidence and determination to stabilize foreign trade and investment despite mounting challenges.

Sheng said the ministry will make a big push to further implement existing policies, introduce more supportive measures and boost the expectations of foreign traders and companies.

More efforts will also be made to increase support for small and medium-sized foreign traders, attract foreign investment to manufacturing and research centers, ensure smooth logistics and resolve problems faced by foreign companies.

Sang Baichuan, dean of the Institute of International Economy at the University of International Business and Economics, said China is determined to continue expanding its high-level opening-up efforts, including by making continuous revisions to its negative list for foreign investment and building a unified national market, offering new business opportunities for global stakeholders.

Looking ahead, he said he expected to see more efforts to further open up the services sector, adding that the country will take a more proactive approach to better align with international economic and trade rules.

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