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China adopts multiple measures to ensure economic stability amid novel coronavirus epidemic

(People's Daily Online)    17:17, February 05, 2020

Relevant government departments in China have taken multiple measures to increase supply, guarantee distribution channels, and stabilize market order to offset the impact of the current novel coronavirus epidemic on the economy, officials said at a press conference held by China’s State Council Information Office on Feb.3.

Photo shows citizens buying chilies in a supermarket in Longhui county, central China’s Hunan province on Feb. 2, 2020. (Photo/sipaphoto.com)

“Most of the supplies for daily use, especially food, are well guaranteed. China’s total grain output has stood at more than 650 billion kilograms for the last five consecutive years,” disclosed Lian Weiliang, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission.

“China has sufficient inventories of grain, with stocks of rice and wheat in various enterprises exceeding grain consumption in China for a whole year,” said Lian, noting that daily necessities in Wuhan, capital of central China’s Hubei province, which is the epicenter of the epidemic, are well guaranteed, and the prices of commodities have started to fall after a rise for a short period.

Supply of daily necessities in other regions of the country are also sufficient, said Lian, explaining that China will try to ensure that supply of various daily necessities in the country is greater than normal demand.

In an effort to prevent shortages, stabilize prices, and prioritize market order, the country would rather increase inventories and be ready for anything than get caught unprepared, Lian stressed.

China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOC) has also taken active measures to encourage small and medium-sized enterprises to open for business as soon as possible, so as to increase supplies of basic services for people’s everyday needs such as shopping and catering, said Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Bingnan.

The MOC has guided the efforts of various cities to make overall planning for ensuring employees’ return to work and the implementation of internal epidemic prevention and control measures in business operations, including ventilation, disinfection, and guidance for flow of people, said Wang.

In fact, the Chinese central government and relevant departments of local governments have rolled out concrete policies on providing assistance for enterprises and stabilizing economic development.

Beijing encourages companies to stabilize jobs and refrain from laying off employees by adjusting salaries, working on shifts, and reducing working hours.

Shanghai has adopted policies to reduce burdens and provide support for enterprises by refunding unemployment insurance to companies that have managed to stabilize jobs, postponing adjustment of social insurance bases and providing subsidies for staff training. 

Many enterprises have also tried their best to find solutions to ensure supplies of goods and services and reduce the effect of the epidemic on their business.

While impacting such sectors as transportation, tourism, and hotels, the current epidemic has also brought about a boom in the digital economy, according to the recent press conference.

E-commerce platforms and online services in areas such as shopping, catering, and entertainment have witnessed growing dynamism recently.

The novel coronavirus epidemic will only have a temporary impact on the Chinese economy, which will not see a change in the basic trend of steady long-term growth, said Lian, noting that the country has the capability and confidence to win the battle against the epidemic and minimize its impact on China’s economic development. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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