Chinese Vice Premier urges active efforts to stabilize foreign trade, investment
Published: May 10, 2022 12:14 AM
Investment File Photo: VCG
File Photo: VCG

A national teleconference on trade and foreign investment was held in Beijing on Monday with Vice Premier Hu Chunhua calling for active efforts to stabilize foreign trade and investment.

The country's dynamic zero-COVID policy will be unwaveringly maintained while effectively coordinating virus containment and economic and social development, and striving to stabilize foreign trade and investment, Hu said during the meeting according to Xinhua News Agency.

The vice premier's remarks came after it was announced that the country's exports and imports grew at a much slower pace in April amid domestic Omicron outbreaks.

The country's trade in US dollars increased by 2.1 percent in April from the year before, with exports posting a 3.9 percent gain and imports remaining flat, according to data from China's General Administration of Customs published on Monday.

By comparison, the country's dollar-denominated exports and imports jumped 7.5 percent in March year-on-year, while its exports rallied to 14.7 percent.

The country's foreign trade and investment went off a stable start, but the pressure on stabilizing foreign trade is shown to be consistently rising while foreign investment stabilization has also faced multiple challenges, Hu said.

The vice premier called for efforts to stabilize production and operations of trade firms, strive to help them secure orders and markets, ensure smooth logistics for foreign trade and take all-out actions to maintain industrial and supply chains intact.

Meanwhile, Hu called for actions to stabilize existing foreign firms while ramping up moves to attract investment and improve the structure of foreign investment.

Local governments across the country were urged to play an active part in strengthening the service and guarantee mechanisms for foreign trade and investment and helping businesses in coping with actual hardships.

Efforts are also required to foster consumption and boost domestic demand, the premier stated, envisioning future actions to smoothen domestic commercial and trade logistics.

Also on Monday, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology unveiled measures that are intended to bail out smaller businesses and the self-employed.

Banks are supported to provide foreign exchange risk-hedging services for medium, small and micro-sized firms. In addition, futures firms are also endorsed to offer risk management services for these firms, according to the measures that also vow support for smaller export-oriented businesses.

In a major move, big state-owned commercial banks will strive to add 1.6 trillion yuan ($237.92 billion) of inclusive loans for businesses covered by the measure in 2022.