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Help foreign firms resume operations

By Liu Hui | China Daily | Updated: 2020-03-28 10:24

A sign is displayed on the Morgan Stanley building in New York, July 16, 2018. [Photo/Agencies]

Although the novel coronavirus outbreak has had a huge impact on its economy, China is gradually reviving economic activities and taking measures to create a better business environment and more development opportunities for foreign enterprises.

Now that the epidemic has been virtually contained at home-while other countries and regions are still struggling to cope with the rising number of infections and deaths-China's focus has shifted to preventing imported infections to further improve the situation, in a bid to attract more foreign enterprises to do business in the country.

As a responsible major country, China has adopted different measures in accordance with the domestic and global epidemic situations to strike a balance between prevention and control work and reviving normal economic operations. It has also maintained close contact with international organizations including foreign enterprises, apprising them of the improving situation in the country.

Local authorities, too, have taken various measures to help enterprises resume normal operations, which include using big data technology to monitor the epidemic situation, strengthening coordination between special transportation channels to help migrant workers to return to work, and providing fiscal and social support for enterprises facing difficulties in restarting production.

As such, the local authorities are focused both on safeguarding public health and security and resuming normal economic activities, so domestic and foreign enterprises can resume normal operations.

Yet China faces many challenges including creating more jobs, mitigating the loss suffered by the service industry, and helping enterprises to access funds. But if the authorities continue using effective measures to contain the outbreak and eliminate the obstacles created by it, the economy will gradually recover.

Compared with domestic enterprises, foreign enterprises have many advantages in international competition. As a huge number of enterprises worldwide face difficulties after having to suspend their operations and for lack of enough capital, they should seize the business opportunities offered by the Chinese market, which is very likely to rebound after the epidemic is fully contained.

China's success in largely containing the outbreak has benefited foreign enterprises operating in the country, by helping them avoid bigger losses. Due to China's unique institutional advantages, all infected patients and those who came in contact with them have been quarantined and treated in time. Mass gatherings have been canceled, and officials who failed to take appropriate prevention and control measures have been punished. All these measures have effectively curbed the spread of the virus, creating a stable environment for foreign enterprises to resume normal operations.

China is a key link in the global supply chain, and it will play its due role to ensure the chain starts functioning smoothly again. Which means foreign enterprises operating in China would get more opportunities to make up for a large part of their losses.

Furthermore, a priority of China's epidemic prevention and control measures is to check imported infections and help other countries and regions with medical supplies and expertise to fight the pandemic. And to make these medicines and medical equipment, including personal protective gear, China has to boost production in this field, which in turn will not only help maintain employment and create more jobs, but also enable foreign enterprises to resume normal operations.

Also, the intensified global economic and trade cooperation between China and other economies after the epidemic ends and the increased interactions among China, Japan and the Republic of Korea to establish a trilateral free trade zone will boost foreign trade and thus help foreign enterprises operating in China to increase their production and other economic activities.

The author is a researcher at the Institute of American Studies, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. The views don't necessarily represent those of China Daily.

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