City focuses on foreign business and trade

Ding Yining
Shanghai Commerce Commission officials have visited 720 regional headquarters of multinational companies in the city with 93 percent of the issues raised resolved. 
Ding Yining

Shanghai is focusing on helping foreign businesses resume normal operations, a press conference heard on Friday, to make sure economic development goes smoothly. 

"Various efforts are being made to reduce the coronavirus impact on the city's foreign trade and foreign businesses as much as possible without compromising on quarantine measures," said Liu Min, Shanghai Commerce Commission’s deputy director. 

The commission has visited 720 regional headquarters of multinational companies in Shanghai and 93 percent of the issues raised have been resolved. 

It has pushed district-level governments to speed up administrative procedures and offer financial subsidies to relieve capital pressures. 

"We will continue to serve key foreign investment projects on a case-by-case basis to ensure businesses run smoothly and construction work is carried out on schedule," Liu added. 

Major challenges such as the difficulty in connecting upstream and downstream suppliers have been resolved through a joint working mechanism with other municipal departments and neighboring cities. 

The commission has been pushing for the restoration of local production capacity and is also actively seeking overseas resources to ensure supply of prevention materials so businesses can get back to work. 

The city is also encouraging companies to secure existing orders and actively expand their business, and will provide subsidies for those who have had to postpone overseas exhibitions. 

Shanghai Customs, the Shanghai Medical Products Administration, and Shanghai Health Commission are working together to ensure imports of critical prevention supplies. 

"Shanghai will scale up its efforts to make sure relevant support measures are well implemented and to raise confidence among overseas businesses," Liu added. 

Nine round-table meetings have been held with overseas businesses and trade bodies to hear their concerns such as financial pressure, transport difficulties and labor shortages with the majority of issues taken care of. 

More than 40 billion yuan (US$5.6 billion) in foreign investment deals has been reached since February through virtual contract signing ceremonies. District authorities in Minhang, Baoshan, Hongqiao and the Pudong New Area have hosted teleconferencing ceremonies to connect with overseas investment projects. 

Shanghai is home to 725 multinational regional headquarters and 464 foreign-funded research and development centers. 

Major Internet companies have hired some 6,000 temporary staff from canteens in the city to resolve a shortage of delivery and operation staff. 

The Shanghai branch of Bank of China provided 4.07 billion yuan in new loans for companies through referral by Shanghai Commerce Commission and is also offering targeted financial service for foreign trade companies. 

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