Ambassador Qian Bo: China Has Full Confidence in Maintaining Long-term Sound Economic Growth
2020-03-17 13:27

While fighting the COVID-19 epidemic, China has also been making coordinated efforts in economic and social development. As the domestic situation keeps getting better, major industries and enterprises including foreign ones are gradually resuming work and production, our social production and economic performance are getting back to normal. Such timely resumption of work and production protects and supports the stability and security of global supply and industrial chains. It once again demonstrates China's strength and sense of responsibility.

The epidemic will inevitably have an impact on China's economy. This impact should be viewed from a comprehensive, dialectical and long-term perspective. China's economy is highly resilient and has enormous potential. The fundamentals that sustain long-term growth have not changed and will not change. Therefore, the impact of the epidemic will be short-term and overall controllable.

First, the impact of the epidemic on the world's second largest economy is temporary. Consumption, supposed to release its potential after the epidemic, has merely been postponed, not lost. Industries like online shopping, online education, remote office work, online entertainment and smart manufacturing, have bucked the negative impact of the current epidemic to attain substantial growth. Those altogether reflect the great resilience and potential of China's economy.

Second, emergency policies and measures have been adopted to counteract the impact of the epidemic. China has mapped out a series of measures to safeguard the stable performance in six key areas, namely, stability in employment, finance, foreign trade, foreign investment, domestic investment, and market expectations. Authorities in different regions and at different levels have rolled out more effective policies to offset the impact of the epidemic, such as promoting the orderly resumption of work and production, cutting taxes and fees, expanding financial services, reducing or exempting rents, and providing job subsidies. We believe that those policies and measures will alleviate the economic impact, especially the difficulties that small and medium-sized enterprises are facing.

Third, normal order of production and operation is being restored. Under the premise of containing the epidemic, we adhere to the principles of scientific prevention, adopting targeted measures based on different levels of risks from low to high, and taking a differentiated approach to promote resumption of work and production. We will fulfill the requirement of "implementing policies before companies run into any difficulties." Difficulties facing businesses will be addressed, especially those in key regions, including labor, capital, and raw material supplies. We will step up efforts to support key industries and SMEs. Under the premise of preventing and controlling the epidemic, we will make sure enterprises can still operate, and the economy will continue to run smoothly.

Fourth, we have enough development potential and policy reserves. We will strive to make up for any shortcomings and improve the quality and efficiency of economic development. Meanwhile, we will step up economic monitoring, forecasting, early warning, and policy research reserves. Relevant policies will be introduced at appropriate time. Macro-control efforts will be strengthened. In these ways, we can maintain a stable, healthy, and sustainable economic and social development.

These important measures give us full confidence in turning the crisis into opportunities, minimizing its impact, and achieving this year's goals for social and economic development.

The World Bank and IMF have expressed full confidence in the resilience of China's economy. Many influential economists have predicted a strong rebound when the epidemic is over. I am sure that when that time comes, the enormous consumer and growth potential will be unleashed, catapulting China's economy back to the right track and enabling China to make new and greater contribution to the common development of the world.

There are many discussions on the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the world economic outlook. It mainly depends on how many countries will be affected and how long it will last, which comes down to the response of countries involved. In tough times, it is all the more important for the international community to stay united and make concerted efforts to overcome the disease, restore normal state-to-state exchange and cooperation, and bring the world economy back to the normal track.