Multinationals’ confidence in China market not altered by coronavirus: FM

By Yin Yeping and Ma Jingjing Source:Global Times Published: 2020/2/19 20:55:55

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang (Photo from Foreign Ministry website)

Many multinationals including some US enterprises have expressed confidence that China will soon overcome difficulties and continue to maintain healthy and stable economic development, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Wednesday.

As measures to contain the novel coronavirus outbreak have achieved marked results, Chinese authorities are stepping up efforts to support business resumption, including foreign enterprises, spokesperson Geng Shuang said at a press briefing on Wednesday. 

Relevant government departments in China are coordinating to resolve the investment, production and operation problems faced by foreign enterprises in a bid to relieve the impact of the outbreak, Geng said.

Steven Lynch, managing director of the British Chamber of Commerce in China, told the Global Times on Wednesday that UK businesses in China will be resilient and remain committed to the market, considering the economic situation following SARS in 2003.

Lynch said 97 percent of the UK businesses in China surveyed by the chamber noted a severe disruption to their operations, but the losses are short term.

"It is clear that in the short term this will be damaging for businesses but I remain confident that the market will rebound and long-term prospects will remain in China," he said.

Currently, some multinationals in China began to restart operations. US manufacturer Honeywell's China chief said that 18 of the company's 21 factories in China have resumed operations, while the rest have partially recovered, Geng said.

In addition, US automaker Ford Motor's China head said the rigid demand of China's huge market remains, and the company has full confidence in China's development, according to Geng.

"We thank foreign enterprises for their understanding and support of China's fight against the novel coronavirus," he said. "Helping China is helping the world," Geng stressed at the conference, noting that the challenge China's economy has encountered is also a challenge for the world economy, as the two are highly integrated.

He called for the international community to make joint efforts to combat the virus and restore normal exchanges and cooperation between countries in order to provide strong support for normal international economic and trade activities and stable global economic growth.

Overall, the impact of the outbreak on China's economy will be temporary and the Chinese government has sufficient policy tools to respond.

"We have confidence that we can achieve our economic and social development goals," Geng said.


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