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Premier Li Keqiang Chairs Symposium on Foreign Trade

2020/06/29

On 28 June, Li Keqiang, Member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Premier of the State Council, chaired a symposium on maintaining stability in foreign trade.

Premier Li stressed the crucial importance of maintaining sound fundamentals in foreign trade and investment for stable economic operation and employment. Under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, government departments across the country have taken a series of targeted measures in the past weeks and months to facilitate steady reopening of the economy alongside rigorous COVID-19 containment. These measures have helped stabilize the performance of foreign trade in recent months.

Noting the ongoing spread of COVID-19 worldwide and severe global economic recession, Premier Li urged full preparedness for the serious challenges China will face in foreign trade given its economy's deep integration into the world economy.

Li underlined the imperative to follow the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, implement the decisions made by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, and focus on maintaining stability in the six key areas and enhancing protections in another six priority areas.

He called for firm confidence in advancing development and proactive efforts to tackle the difficulties and challenges, and urged higher-level opening-up and new models of foreign trade to facilitate stable and higher-quality foreign trade and underpin job creation and steady growth.

Premier Li urged prompt and full delivery of all relief policies set out in the Government Work Report as part of the effort to support employment, basic living needs and market entities.

While domestic demand will receive a strong boost, further measures will be considered to facilitate the stable performance of foreign trade and foreign investment.

In particular, Li urged scaling up support to keep smaller enterprises and labor-intensive businesses afloat, and helping large leading foreign trade firms overcome difficulties to better sustain jobs.

The export tax rebate policy will be refined, including faster rebate processes and greater support for enterprises with sound credit records.

Financial institutions will be guided to provide stronger financing support via credit-backed loans, credit insurance and guarantee, to ease the liquidity strains on foreign trade companies.

The reform to facilitate customs clearance will be advanced to provide better services for foreign trade firms.

Li called for maintaining stability in foreign trade and investment while containing COVID-19. Communication and coordination with other countries will be stepped up to keep channels for international cargo transport smooth and open more "fast-track lanes" for business travels.

Foreign trade companies are encouraged to pursue transformation and upgrading by raising the quality and added value of products, and embracing such new business models as cross-border e-commerce and online transaction.

Diverse investors will be encouraged and guided in building overseas warehouses. More support will be given to foreign trade services platforms that help small and medium-sized enterprises export more. And new growth areas in foreign trade will be cultivated.

Sub-national governments are urged to adjust and adapt their measures for stable foreign trade and investment according to local needs on a timely basis.

Li underlined the need to resolutely take more steps in expanding opening-up and advance cross-sectoral and multi-tiered cooperation with international partners.

While the manufacturing industry will be further opened up, the services sector, high-end services in particular, will see greater openness.

China will continue to foster a market-oriented and world-class business environment governed by a sound legal framework, enhance its policies to encourage and attract foreign investment, and make China a more popular investment destination.

The central, western and northeastern parts of the country will strengthen their capacity of hosting relocated industries. And greater efforts will be made in maintaining stability in industrial and supply chains.

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