The COVID-19 epidemic has affected international flights and personnel exchange. It appears that some countries have recently introduced measures concerning China. Will these measures influence the overseas investment and trade of China’s centrally administered SOEs, including overseas projects related to the Belt and Road Initiative? Some foreign media and citizens worry that the movement of people may result in further spread of the epidemic. What measures have centrally administered SOEs taken to ensure smooth progress on overseas projects? Thank you.
Thank you for the questions. Measures to prevent and control the epidemic have indeed created certain difficulties for overseas projects and investment. While guiding centrally administered SOEs in preventing and controlling the epidemic and resuming their operations in China, SASAC has also actively pushed forward continued construction of overseas projects through a series of targeted measures, including addressing deployment of personnel overseas.
First, we actively communicate with foreign enterprises, proprietors and local governments to win their support and understanding. While guaranteeing safety, we will promote continued construction of overseas projects. For example, CNPC sent a letter to its overseas partners to publicize China’s efforts and progress in epidemic prevention and control to avoid misunderstandings.
Second, we further optimize and streamline construction procedures and agendas. For projects just starting construction, centrally administered SOEs have managed to finish many jobs within China to ensure that construction will proceed more quickly after the epidemic ends.
Third, we actively leverage the advantages of local and third-party resources. Many overseas projects managed by centrally administered SOEs employ local and international personnel. In such conditions, we must ensure that local and international employees play greater roles and that overseas projects in various countries proceed in an orderly manner through rational allocation of resources.
Fourth, we actively use modern communications technologies such as telecommuting between China and abroad to address personnel shortages.
We believe that appropriate measures will help centrally administered SOEs overcome difficulties and guarantee smooth operation of overseas projects.
On your second question about protecting overseas employees from the epidemic, when SASAC became aware of the potential risk earlier, it issued an urgent notice to centrally administered SOEs on January 30 requiring measures for epidemic prevention and control including inspecting the health conditions of personnel sent abroad. Centrally administered SOEs have adopted several measures: First, headquarters of centrally administered SOEs are required to make overall arrangements on the number of personnel sent overseas and to acquire prior permissions from the embassies and consulates of foreign countries. Many overseas projects involve centrally administered SOEs. In the past, personnel dispatched to work overseas were usually arranged by subsidiaries and branches. In the current situation, however, central headquarters should coordinate arrangements. Second, they are conducting strict health checks on not only personnel going overseas, but also their family members to ensure the epidemic is not taken abroad. Third, stricter quarantine measures have been adopted. State Power Investment Corporation, for instance, isolates the personnel to be dispatched for 14 days in China and then another 14 days upon their arrival in the host countries before they begin work, with an aim of guaranteeing complete safety. The fourth measure is to strengthen monitoring of the health of dispatched personnel through tracking their daily movements and physical conditions to ensure any problems are identified and addressed quickly, so as to guarantee their safety. Thank you.
Due to limited time, we can take one more question.