Ministry planning more steps to increase foreign investment and trade
Port employees help a cargo vessel dock at the container terminal of Qingdao Port, Shandong province.
China will beef up efforts to further stabilize foreign investment and foreign trade, and strengthen international cooperation in fighting off the coronavirus, the Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday.
The outbreak will inevitably have an impact on cross-border investment, Ye Wei, deputy director-general of the ministry's department of foreign investment administration, said at a news conference.
The outbreak could cause global foreign direct investment to shrink by 5 percent to 15 percent, Ye said, citing a recent report prepared by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
To ensure the steady growth of FDI, the ministry will further open up market access and optimize the foreign investment environment, Ye said.
The country will speed up the process to shorten the negative lists－which identify sectors where foreign participation is restricted, continuously widen the market access to foreign investment, and revise the catalog of industries where foreign capital is encouraged and increase the number of encouraged items, he said.
Overall, China's long-term economic improvement and the market's attraction will not change, Ye said.
The COVID-19 outbreak was effectively contained in China, but the outbreak has been spreading rapidly in the rest of the world.
The epidemic has hit some of China's important trading partners such as the European Union, the United States, South Korea and Japan, and put pressure on the normal development of their bilateral trade with China, said Jiang Fan, an official with the ministry's foreign trade department.
Jiang urged the global community to join hands to rein in the epidemic. China will continue to expand international partnership in fighting off the virus, and to deepen economic and trade cooperation with countries around the world, she said.
According to Jiang, the country will also make great efforts to accurately implement supportive policies to help enterprises stabilize the international market.
China's foreign trade development is resilient, has enough room for development, and the ministry is confident of stabilizing the foreign trade, Jiang said.
While ensuring the work resumption in the domestic market, the ministry will also strengthen cooperation with trading partners, share with them experiences in epidemic prevention and control, and provide necessary assistance in a timely manner, she said.
The General Administration of Customs has recently issued a list of measures to ensure epidemic prevention at ports and fast-track clearances.
The GAC requires branches of Customs nationwide to support the enterprises in resuming work and production, and implement various measures. Since the outbreak, Customs across the country have destroyed or returned 348,000 units of unqualified imported masks and protective gowns.