A ship loaded with 220 containers of corn from Hunchun in Northeast China’s Jilin province arrives at Qingdao port via the Russian port of Zarubino on May 15, 2020. (Photo: Sipa)
China will take further steps to stabilize foreign trade and investment through expanded opening-up, and advance trials for innovative development of trade in services.
These decisions were adopted at the State Council's executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday.
"The greatest uncertainty at the moment comes from the external environment, which directly affects foreign trade and investment," Li said. "We must be fully prepared to meet the new challenges that may come our way, especially in maintaining stability in the global production and supply chains, and in foreign trade and investment."
It was decided on Wednesday that support will be given to foreign trade businesses in strengthening their resilience against risks. A model of "credit insurance plus guarantee" is encouraged to increase business credit for foreign trade companies.
A more investment-friendly policy environment will be created. Key foreign investment projects will receive greater support in terms of land use, and the accreditation of high-tech foreign-invested companies will be made easier.
Foreign-invested companies will be entitled to apply for special re-lending and rediscount quotas and new loans from the Export-Import Bank of China in the same way as their Chinese counterparts.
New forms of business such as cross-border e-commerce, overseas warehouses, and enterprises that provide comprehensive foreign trade services will receive more support, and pilots of market purchase trade will be expanded, to facilitate the exports of micro, small and medium-sized firms.
"We must ensure full delivery of the relief policies already introduced. In view of acute challenges such as falling orders, effective measures will be rolled out to help businesses explore new markets and find new opportunities. These policies should apply equally to all types of companies," Li said.
The role of trade in services in stabilizing overall trade and investment will be fully harnessed. In keeping with regional development strategies, trials for the innovative development of trade in services will be expanded to 21 provincial-level regions.
Additional reform measures will be considered to open up more sectors, including developing cross-border commercial medical insurance, advancing Chinese-foreign cooperation in running schools, expanding the scope of qualified technology importers and exporters, and resuming international tourism and sport cooperation with COVID-19 containment protocols in place.
"Trade in services can catalyze the upgrading of China's foreign trade sectors and spur high-quality development," Li said.