Chinese economy embraces optimism, energy with progress in epidemic fight

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, March 12, 2020
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With positive trend in epidemic control in Hubei Province, the hardest-hit region by the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, and progress made across the country, the Chinese economy is getting more lively as confidence grows.

Hubei Province Wednesday announced differentiated business and production resumption plans based on the epidemic situations of the counties in the province.

Wuhan, the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, allows businesses that support the supply of medical resources, daily necessities, and agricultural materials to return to work, according to the provincial epidemic prevention and control headquarters.

Enterprises related to the national economy, people's livelihood, and the global industrial chain are also encouraged to gradually resume operations with approval.

Companies in Wuhan that have not been shuttered since the Spring Festival may continue production. Other enterprises are not allowed to resume business until March 21.

Meanwhile, the province urged enterprises to make epidemic prevention and control plans and prepare emergency response before work and production resumption.

Nationwide, about 78 million migrant workers have already returned to their jobs, according to the Ministry of Transport. In the provinces of Guangdong and Zhejiang, 70 percent of migrant workers from other provinces made it back to their workplaces.

More than 90 percent of the large industrial enterprises in industrial powerhouse regions have resumed production, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), which has sent out inspectors to check local progress.

For small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which have been particularly vulnerable in the outbreak, around 45 percent of them have restarted work as of early March, MIIT data showed.

Tian Yulong, a chief engineer with the MIIT, said the ministry will next focus on supporting key industries and SMEs, noting that specific arrangements have been made based on industries, sectors and enterprise scale.

Customs data also indicated that 80.6 percent of the surveyed foreign trade companies have resumed work, along with an increasing trend in import and export value in February, according to the General Administration of Customs.

In terms of everyday life, 95 percent of chain hypermarkets, as well as companies in the sectors of petroleum and petrochemicals, communication, electricity and transport have opened for business.

Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said last week that China's progress in resuming production has been "encouraging," with expectations that up to 90 percent or even 100 percent of production will be resumed in the coming weeks.

This is welcome news for China, and it is welcome news for the world, she said.

Chinese health authorities said Wednesday they received reports of 24 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the Chinese mainland on Tuesday. On the same day, 1,578 people were discharged from hospitals after recovery. 

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