Workers making masks in the workshop of a medical supplies company in Jiaozuo City, central China's Henan Province on Feb 9, 2020. - Xinhua
As China battles the novel coronavirus epidemic, people in the country are gradually returning to work after the extended Spring Festival holiday. How best to minimize the impact of the epidemic on the economy has become a pressing concern for the nation.
Businesses are actively adjusting their strategies. For instance, more restaurants are embracing delivery orders as sit-down sales fall. Retailers are building up their online stores. Car dealers are providing test drives without staff present. Some high-tech companies have launched or upgraded their cloud video conferencing products and services to facilitate remote work. And some companies have adopted flexible working hours and rotating shift patterns to cope with the situation.
In the meantime, the central government is providing full support for enterprises by adopting a series of financial and monetary policies. Measures include setting up a special fund to refinance companies, increasing credit loans and reducing costs for fundraising for small and medium enterprises, private businesses and the manufacturing industry.
Many local governments have introduced such favorable policies as rent reduction and exemption, tax deferral and cutbacks on financing costs. In Shanghai, a set of policy measures launched over the weekend are expected to help local companies cut operational costs by more than 30 billion yuan (over 4 billion U.S. dollars).
Foreign-funded companies, including Tesla, Starbucks and Nestlé, have also voiced their confidence in a market of 1.4 billion consumers and the world’s most comprehensive supply chain.
The impact of the epidemic will be temporary since the fundamentals of China's long-term economic growth and high-quality growth will not change. As Richard Griffith, an economic historian with the international Institute for Asian Studies based in the Netherlands, pointed out, it is reasonable to believe that China's economy will release greater development potential because its economy has shown strong resilience with optimized structure and enhanced capacity of risk management.
Sources: China Media Group
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