SCIO briefing on China's industrial and communications development in Q1

The State Council Information Office held a press conference Thursday afternoon in Beijing to introduce China's industrial and communications development in the first quarter of 2020. April 26, 2020

Guangming Daily: 

Media reports say that the COVID-19 pandemic will accelerate the migration of China's manufacturing industry chain. How does the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology view this issue? A meeting of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee mentioned the "six safeguards" (safeguarding jobs, livelihood, market entities, food and energy security, the stability of industrial and supply chains, and the smooth running of communities) for the first time. How do you plan to ensure the stability of industrial and supply chains? Thank you. 

Huang Libin: 

The outbreak of COVID-19, alongside the Lunar New Year holiday factor, has had serious impacts on people's lives and jobs, as well as on various sectors and industries. The manufacturing industry chain has been severely affected, the circulation of people and logistics are not smooth, and the upstream and downstream enterprises in the industrial chains are out of sync in production resumption. Apart from these prominent problems, factors such as stagnation in production of some important industrial products and obstruction of exports have also affected the international supply chain to some extent. In China, we see the continuous improvement of the pandemic prevention and control situation and the accelerated recovery of production and daily order. But the overseas pandemic situation has been accelerating and spreading. The manufacturing industries in countries and regions with serious pandemic conditions, such as the United States and European countries, have been shut down on large scales and production has been suspended, leading to serious breakups of the global supply chain. These situations force people to think about the safety of the industrial chain, and the globalization of labor division may face a new pattern adjustment.

At present, the global industrial chain layout and supply chain structure, formed as a result of the free flow of production factors in the most efficient way, in addition to the optimal allocation of resources over the decades, are rather stable and interdependent. For a long time, multinational companies have paid more attention to efficiency and costs when allocating production factors globally. Future adjustment is the choice of enterprises — not the will of the government. China is an indispensable and important pillar of the global industrial chain, and being "made in China" has its unique advantages. The super large market size is a decisive factor in ensuring the global industrial chain stays in China. The complete industrial system and well-developed infrastructure give us great confidence to further integrate into the global industrial chain. The pandemic could lead to a more diversified and resilient global industrial or supply chain, and we will retain foreign businesses in China with greater efficiency, higher-quality services and a better business environment.

China's economy is still growing on strong fundamentals and with unchanged overall competitiveness. Multinational companies still have confidence in the Chinese market, and their investment strategies remain unchanged. According to a survey released by the American Chamber of Commerce in China (AmCham) on March 25, 40% of AmCham members will maintain previously planned levels of investment, up by 17 percentage points from February. Tesla's gigafactory in Shanghai was built and started mass production in just under a year. In March, Tesla sold more than 10,000 vehicles in China, hitting a record high. An integrated global supply chain has proved to be more resilient and flexible than a fragmented one. Integration is more conducive to maintaining international security and stability, as well as ensuring and improving well-being for people around the world.

A meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee held on April 17 emphasized efforts to maintain stability and the competitiveness of China's industrial and supply chains, as well as to promote coordinated work and the resumption of production across the industrial chain. In accordance with the decisions and plans made by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, the MIIT will focus on the following priorities to ensure stability in industrial and supply chains.

First, we will keep connected with global industrial and supply chains, and contribute to international cooperation in fighting COVID-19. We will increase the supply of active pharmaceutical ingredients, life necessities and medical equipment, and ensure the production and exportation of key products and firms with major influence in the global industrial chain in an effort to keep the global supply chain stable.

Second, we will smooth domestic industrial and supply chains to stimulate the vitality of the domestic market. We will advance Internet Plus initiatives to boost traditional consumption and vigorously support the development of new forms and models. We will accelerate the construction of new infrastructure, speeding up the commencement of key projects in the industry and communications sectors and strictly ensuring the implementation of key foreign-funded projects.

Third, we will smooth out blocks in industrial and supply chains and promote the resumption of work and production in key sectors and areas. We will strengthen coordinated efforts and improve follow-up services. We will leverage the role of leading enterprises in driving the development of businesses in the upstream and downstream of industrial and supply chains. We will help large, medium-sized and small enterprises achieve integrated development, and we will work to stabilize the fundamentals of industrial operations.

Fourth, we will enhance capacity-building for the security of industrial and supply chains. We will make efforts to establish mechanisms operating across regions, departments and sectors in the aspects of information sharing, infrastructure connection, unimpeded logistics, financial integration, people-to-people ties and coordinated administration. We will also strengthen the risk-warning management of core sectors and key regions. Thank you.

Xi Yanchun:

I noticed that some reporters didn't get a chance to raise questions. For any inquiries, please feel free to contact the information office of the MIIT. Thanks again to the speakers and everyone else. Today's press conference is hereby concluded.

Translated and edited by Zhu Bochen, Li Xiao, Zhang Rui, Guo Xiaohong, Wu Jin, Wang Yanfang, Mi Xingang, Fan Junmei, Liu Sitong, Zhou Jing, Zhang Tingting, Li Huiru, Yan Xiaoqing, Wang Zhiyong, Zhang Junmian, Zhang Liying, Wang Wei, Jay Birbeck, Laura Zheng, David Ball, Scott Rainen. In case of any dispute over a discrepancy, the Chinese version is deemed to prevail.

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