China adopts targeted measures to prop up foreign trade
Photo taken on May 1, 2022 shows a container vessel docking at the Qianwan Container Terminal in Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province. [Xinhua/Li Ziheng]
Against headwinds from the latest resurgences of COVID-19 and external factors causing further disruption, China has implemented a series of targeted measures to promote the continued growth of its foreign trade.
In the first five months of 2022, the value of China's total imports and exports increased by 8.3 percent year-on-year to reach 16.04 trillion yuan (about $2.4 trillion). In particular, the country's foreign trade volume rebounded in May and grew 9.6 percent year-on-year, as targeted measures started to pay off.
Since the beginning of this year, China's Ministry of Commerce and other relevant departments have guided local governments to enhance services for key foreign trade enterprises and unimpeded cargo logistics to ensure their stable operation. In May, the import and export volume in the Yangtze River Delta region that includes Shanghai, a region which was seriously impacted by the recent outbreak of COVID-19, rose about 20 percent month-over-month.
In March, Jabil Circuit (Wuxi) Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of U.S. manufacturing giant Jabil, which is located in the comprehensive bonded zone of the Wuxi National Hi-Tech District in Xinwu district, Wuxi city of east China's Jiangsu Province, encountered difficulties in exporting its products and importing raw materials due to impeded logistics between Shanghai and Jiangsu.
The company applied with the comprehensive bonded zone to receive passes for logistics vehicles on March 28. The company was then included by the local government on a "white list" comprising a number of enterprises in order to accelerate their resumption of work and production on April 1. Meanwhile, effective anti-epidemic measures were adopted to facilitate the company's cargo logistics.
Thanks to these measures, the company was able to ensure smooth cargo logistics between Wuxi all the way to Yangshan Port and Shanghai Pudong International Airport in Shanghai.
"Our company's production lines were not interrupted. So far, we have recovered 100 percent of our production capacity," said Xiao Yong, general manager of the company, revealing that the company now keeps its production lines running 24 hours a day. From January to May, the company's import and export volume soared 22 percent year-on-year.
The General Administration of Customs recently introduced 10 measures to stabilize the operations of foreign trade companies, including speeding up the customs clearance of goods that are urgently needed for enterprises to optimize their working processes and enhance efficiency.
Meanwhile, the People's Bank of China and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange rolled out measures to stabilize foreign trade in April, including expanding trials to facilitate foreign exchange settlement for trade firms nationwide while facilitating the use of the Chinese renminbi.
The General Office of the country's State Council issued a circular on May 26 to enhance fiscal, tax, and financial support for foreign trade companies.
The circular called on banking institutions to increase credit support to foreign trade firms. Besides, China would expand the coverage of export credit insurance for small and micro foreign trade firms and improve services for their claims settlement, the circular said.
As of the end of May, the China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation (Sinosure), a policy-oriented insurer specializing in export credit insurance in the country, had insured 149,000 foreign trade firms, with the sum insured exceeding $350 billion, up 12.7 percent from the same period last year.