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Foreign-funded firms in south China's Guangdong resume production

(Xinhua)    13:22, February 16, 2020

GUANGZHOU, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- Inside a warehouse at Bayer PH Supply Center Guangzhou Site, cargo boxes loaded with medical products are stacked over 10 meters high, ready to aid coronavirus-battered Hubei Province.

During the Spring Festival holiday, workers at the factory of Bayer in Guangzhou, capital of south China's Guangdong Province, worked overtime to ensure supplies of medical products for Hubei and other virus-hit regions across the country.

"Now 60 percent of production capacity has recovered," said Anson Xie, manager of the site.

One of the two main products Bayer produces is anti-inflammatory medicine targeting respiratory tract infections, which saw a surging demand in February.

According to the government of Guangzhou's Huangpu District, where local manufacturing industries cluster, as of the afternoon of Feb. 13, 3,061 enterprises in the district had resumed production. A total of 1,338 are in the industrial sector, accounting for 27.8 percent of all industrial enterprises. Around 170,000 workers, nearly half the workforce in the industrial sector, have resumed work.

The multinational manufacturer Procter & Gamble also resumed operations at its plant in Huangpu on Feb. 5. Now, most production lines are running, with about 1,000 workers having returned to work, said Jason Xu, health safety and environment leader at the plant.

"Now we mainly produce shampoos and body wash products to meet people's needs," said Xu.

Amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, all the factories have taken strict measures to ensure epidemic control and prevention.

Workers at the P&G plant were given health instructions and asked to work according to strict safety rules.

Peng Rong, who returned to Guangzhou from her hometown Sichuan Province on Feb. 3, began work after a one-week self-quarantine. Now she is armed to the teeth with protective gear that the factory prepared for all the staff, and the dining hall is not as crowded as before, with food packed in advance instead, for safety.

Inevitably, the epidemic has affected some enterprises in material supply, personnel employment, production capacity and transportation.

Guangzhou Bioseal Biotech Co., Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson that produces a product used for surgical hemostasis, has met obstacles.

Due to traffic control in other provincial regions, 5 percent of the company's workers failed to return to work, and transportation of some products to other provincial regions was hampered as well, said Huang Lisha, general manager of the company.

Whether and when the upstream enterprises resume work impacts the raw material supplies of P&G's Huangpu Plant, but the local government has been helping to coordinate between both sides, said Xu.

The government in Huangpu District has introduced policies to cut rental costs, secure production, stabilize employment and provide financial support and incentives for enterprises, with fiscal support totaling 287 million yuan (about 41.1 million U.S. dollars), said Gu Lin, an official with Huangpu District.

"Authorities in Huangpu have established a platform to coordinate supplies and production for factories, and our company was allocated a batch of anti-virus materials, which were in urgent need," said Huang.

Government officials in Huangpu District and Guangzhou Development Zone visited around 1,000 enterprises to better understand their needs and situations and help them with material supplies, plant reconstruction and production line adjustment, said Gu.

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

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