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Premier stresses advancing normal operation of market

Updated: Mar 13,2020 10:07 PM

Premier Li Keqiang inspects the national service platform for the development of market operation and circulation and the coordination mechanism of foreign trade and investment on March 13.

Premier Li is a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, and also the head of a central leading group of China's COVID-19 response.

He called for coordinated efforts to advance the prevention and control of the novel coronavirus and social and economic development, promote commerce and trade circulation and a return to normal market operation, deepen reform and opening-up and stabilize foreign trade and foreign capital to boost the economy.

During his inspection, he heard reports on current consumer market operation, commerce and trade circulation and resumption of work and production in the service industry.

Premier Li praised related parties for ensuring the market supply in Hubei province and the whole country, especially the supply of materials for epidemic control and daily necessities.

They made concerted efforts and kept commodity prices basically stable, which bolstered the country's fight against the epidemic, he said.

While preventing a relapse of the epidemic, all parties should promote orderly resumption of work and production in commercial logistics, attach importance to new business models, such as the online economy and platform economy, advance online-offline integration, smooth the circulation of commodities and invigorate the consumer market, Premier Li said.

Premier Li also asked about the implementation of policies for enterprises to overcome difficulties. He said the policies should be put in place and benefit all enterprises.

Related departments should present policies to stimulate consumption and expand domestic demands based on local situations, he added.

Premier Li then learned about domestic and overseas orders after enterprises restarted operations amid the epidemic in a phone call with a manager of the Yiwu small commodities hub in East China's Zhejiang province.

Connected to over 2 million micro-, small- and medium-sized manufacturers, the hub should deliver better services for their operating activities, the Premier said.

Apart from meeting domestic needs, businesses in Yiwu should take the lead in grabbing market share globally, he said, requiring necessary financing services be made available.

Premier Li then heard reports on the implementation of measures to stabilize foreign trade and investment, work and production resumption in foreign-funded firms, as well as free trade areas and economic development zones.

He urged local authorities to help advance construction for major foreign-funded projects in regions like Shaanxi, Guangdong and Zhejiang provinces.

"Externally, China is facing an even more complicated and harsh environment, as the COVID-19 outbreak weighs heavily on the global economy and financial market," he said. "But the greater the difficulties, the further we should promote reform and opening-up, which will enable us to keep foreign trade and investment stable."

While stressing the business environment, Premier Li called for more efforts to implement the Foreign Investment Law and reform and opening-up measures in free trade zones, issue the new negative list more quickly and promote further opening-up of more sectors, especially the service industry.

All supporting policies should treat domestic and foreign enterprises equally, he added.

Premier Li said online communication, negotiation, and other commercial activities should be used to attract more foreign enterprises to invest in China for mutually beneficial development.

To stabilize foreign trade, he said, all supporting policies should be well implemented, and the government will continue to facilitate customer clearance and support cross-border e-commerce.

The Premier also called for better preparation of the China Import and Export Fair in spring to help enterprises deepen international cooperation and expand overseas markets.

All these measures will boost domestic development and maintain stability of the global supply chain, he said.

Vice-Premier Hu Chunhua, State Councilor Xiao Jie and He Lifeng, head of the National Development and Reform Commission, also attended the inspection.