- Title: China encourages domestc sales of export goods as virus batters global trade
- Date: 10th April 2020
- Summary: BEIJING, CHINA (APRIL 10, 2020) (REUTERS) CHINESE OFFICIALS ARRIVING AT NEWS CONFERENCE JOURNALISTS SITTING (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) DIRECTOR GENERAL OF FOREIGN TRADE DEPARTMENT OF CHINESE COMMERCE MINISTRY, LI XINGQIAN, SAYING: "At present, almost all of our trading partners have suffered from the epidemic. Demand in the international market has shrunk significantly, and the production of major economies has largely been put on hold. Firms' export orders were delayed or cancelled, and new orders fell in comparison to the previous year. On the other hand, the global supply chain has been blocked and there are difficulties to import raw materials and spare parts." CAMERAMAN IN SURGICAL MASK FILMING NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) ASSISTANT MINISTER OF COMMERCE, REN HONGBIN, SAYING: "The coronavirus epidemic has spread rapidly in the world. This pandemic has become the biggest uncertainty for the external development of China's foreign trade. Now, more than 120 countries have taken measures to restrict the flow of people and logistics, and many countries have announced a state of emergency to lockdown their country or cities, which has brought a huge impact on the free flow of the global economy and trade." JOURNALISTS SITTING (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) ASSISTANT MINISTER OF COMMERCE, REN HONGBIN, SAYING: "Third, we will promote domestic sales of foreign trade products. We will guide foreign trade firms to increase cooperation with large domestic e-commerce platforms. We will conduct online and offline expositions and sales of high-quality foreign trade products in through e-commerce, so that we can cultivate new brands and better meet the demand of domestic consumers." JOURNALISTS SITTING (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) ASSISTANT MINISTER OF COMMERCE, REN HONGBIN, SAYING: "Last year the trade between China and the United States declined because of trade frictions. But we are willing to expand trade relations with all partners including the United States under the new circumstances." NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS
- Keywords: China Chinese Commerce Ministry coronavirus foreign trade government news conference trade
- Reuters ID: LVA001C8WPIYV
- Location: BEIJING, CHINA
- City: BEIJING, CHINA
- Country: China
- Duration: 00:02:31
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Story Text: China will promote the sales of export products in domestic markets, as foreign trade faces unprecedented challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic, an assistant commerce minister said on Friday (April 10).
As the coronavirus spreads to almost all of China's trading partners, the world's second-largest economy is set to reach a grim milestone for full year growth, with the pace of expansion likely to be the slowest since the Cultural Revolution ended in 1976. And, the export sector is facing millions of job losses and factory shutdowns.
"The coronavirus epidemic has spread rapidly in the world. This pandemic has become the biggest uncertainty for the external development of China's foreign trade," said Ren Hongbin, assistant minister at the Ministry of Commerce.
He said firms across the board have had their orders cancelled or delayed, and new orders are very hard to sign.
China's overseas shipments fell 17.2% in January-February from the same period a year earlier, marking the steepest fall since February 2019. Imports sank 4% from a year earlier.
Among the government measures to support the sector, China is accelerating efforts to build online trade fairs and guiding exporters to work with e-commerce retailers for sales in domestic markets and coordinating with its trading partners to stabilize supply chains, said Ren.
China is willing to boost trade relations with other countries, including the United States, under the new circumstances, said Ren, adding that Beijing hopes to work together with Washington to promote bilateral trade. Both countries have been engaged in a near two-year long trade war with tit-for-tat tariffs on each other's goods, before negotiators called a truce with an interim trade deal in January.
(Production: Wang Shubing, Irene Wang)
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