Premier Li presses for upswing of economic development
Updated: March 20, 2020 22:24

Premier Li Keqiang, head of the leading group on novel coronavirus (COVID-19) prevention and control, inspected services of epidemic control and life essentials, work and production resumption and coordinative operation of macro-level policies on March 20.

Premier Li said key issues like epidemic control and economic and social development should be stepped up in an orderly manner, in an effort to promote the recovery of economic and social order and an industrial and economic upswing.

Vice-Premier Han Zheng also joined the inspection.

After hearing reports on the work to ensure medical materials, life essentials and energy supplies since the COVID-19 outbreak, Premier Li said that the concerted secured supplies not only supported frontline epidemic battles, but also helped uphold a fairly stable domestic market. It is especially crucial in efficiently maintaining the basic livelihood of people in Wuhan city and Hubei province during regional traffic management and control.

At present, departments concerned should adapt to changes in international and domestic epidemic prevention and control and the economic situation, bring the market mechanism into full play and ensure supplies in an all-around manner so as to meet the requirements of future epidemic prevention and control, meet the people’s living needs, and boost the economy.

Premier Li had a video call with officials in charge of inspecting work and production resumption in Guangdong and Henan provinces, requiring them to tackle problems troubling enterprises.

In the video call, Premier Li also communicated with managers from Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd and Foxconn Technology Group over how many of their employees had returned to work and whether they need national policy support.

Hearing the two companies are facing parts supply shortages because micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises producing them have not fully recovered operations, Premier Li urged related departments to act quickly to facilitate simultaneous work and production resumption among all enterprises, large and small, and allow productive factors to flow freely across various sectors and industries.

As the main driving force of job creation, micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises are a key link in smoothing industrial and supply chains.

The Premier also required authorities responsible for financial support to put in place detailed policies to truly alleviate the financial strain on those small businesses.

Premier Li also heard reports on nationwide progress in work and production resumption, and discussed solutions to existing challenges with the accompanying officials.

Party committees and governments at all levels should strive for sound economic development and stable employment while continuing to contain the epidemic, he said.

Recent practice proved the feasibility of restarting business operations on the back of effective virus prevention and control measures, coupled with necessary health monitoring and emergency response, the Premier said.

To drive the resumption push and shore up the economy, Premier Li called for cancelling temporary restrictions and unreasonable barriers in a safe and orderly manner, depending on epidemic dynamics.

He also encouraged government departments to maintain efficient collaboration and reform their functions to improve services to enterprises, micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises and individual businesses in particular.

Mentioning March 20 marks the Spring Equinox in the lunar calendar, Premier Li expressed wishes for another good harvest this year through efforts to supply sufficient agricultural materials, prepare fields for summer crops and kick off spring farming without delay.

Given the massive international market swings as a result of the COVID-19 spread, China must align its macro policy coordination mechanism to changes in global economic and financial situations, Premier Li said, demanding careful analyses of their impact on China’s development, and timely deployment and improvement of countermeasures.

That includes intensified efforts to ensure stable performance in six key areas — employment, finance, foreign trade, foreign investment, domestic investment, and market expectations — and a stronger policy mix for domestic demand and opening-up to boost economic upturn and stable employment.

He Lifeng, head of the National Development and Reform Commission, also attended the inspection.

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