I'd like to ask what kind of influence the novel coronavirus outbreak will have on China's economy. For example, how will it affect the economy in the near future or next month? And what measures will China take to maintain investors' confidence in China?
Thanks for your questions. Your questions concern the overall situation. Judging from the current situation, the epidemic has put an increasing dampener on the economy, especially on consumption sectors including transportation, culture, tourism, hotel and accommodation as well as catering and entertainment. At present, the passenger volume during the Spring Festival travel rush, or "Chunyun" in Chinese, has decreased significantly and revenues from box office movie ticket sales, tourism and catering have also declined sharply year-on-year. But at the same time, there has been fast growth in burgeoning sectors such as online shopping and online food and entertainment businesses.
The impact of the novel coronavirus outbreak on the economy depends on the progress and effectiveness of our epidemic prevention and control work. Here, I wish to stress that the novel coronavirus epidemic will only have a temporary impact on China's economy, and the country's good economic fundamentals for long-term growth remain unchanged. Some people compared the coronavirus outbreak to the 2003 SARS epidemic and made economic loss projections based on the SARS damage. China's current economic strength, resources and abilities to deal with emergencies have been significantly strengthened since then, and we are fully confident in and capable of winning the battle against the epidemic. At present, our most urgent task is in accordance with the decisions made by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the State Council to take measures in an effective, orderly, scientific and accurate way to prevent and control the outbreak, and make sure that everything returns to normal as soon as possible.
As for the next steps to respond to the impact caused by the outbreak, we will put into practice the decisions made at the Central Economic Work Conference, and remain committed to the general principle of pursuing progress while ensuring stability, as well as to the new development philosophy of high-quality development. We will coordinate all work to maintain stable growth, advance reform, make structural adjustments, improve living standards, guard against risks, and ensure stability. As part of the coronavirus outbreak prevention and control work, enterprises that produce key medical supplies and daily supplies or are linked to sectors such as energy, transportation, city management, are encouraged to return to work to speed up production in order to ensure a stable supply of key necessities and materials. Companies that are responsible for major projects are also encouraged to return to work as soon as possible. In addition, we will roll out polices to aid the companies that are seriously damaged during the epidemic. More importantly, we should enhance our efforts to bolster weaknesses in key areas and links in need of attention, as well as foster new areas of growth. We are confident that together we will definitely win in the fight against the coronavirus. We will maintain stable economic development and create the foundation to complete our building of a moderately prosperous society. Thanks.