Interview with Li Yizhong, former Minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China: Effectively responding to the epidemic and hitting the industry

  China News Service, Beijing, May 24 (Reporter Pang Wuji) The new coronary pneumonia epidemic has hit Chinese industry like never before. With the improvement of the epidemic situation and the recovery of the economy, some positive changes have begun to appear in the industrial sector. What is the impact of the epidemic on Chinese industry? What are the challenges facing the future industrial recovery and how to deal with them? A reporter from China News Agency recently interviewed Li Yizhong, the former minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and chairman of the China Federation of Industrial Economy.

  Official data show that in April, the value added of China's above-scale industries increased by 3.9% year-on-year, from negative to positive. But from January to April, this data is still down 4.9% year-on-year. During the same period, many indicators closely related to industry such as consumption, investment, import and export were still in the negative growth range.

  Li Yizhong pointed out that this shows that the epidemic is hitting the industry hard, and the demand and supply are both hit, and the impact is unprecedented. If the 2008 financial crisis was a "roller coaster", the impact on the economy and industry this time may be likened to a "cliff-like fall."

  The resumption of production since late February has achieved initial results. Li Yizhong pointed out that at the end of March, the average start-up rate of industrial enterprises above designated size was 98.6%, and the rate of reinstatement of personnel was 89.9%.

  "Of course this is good news, but you can't be blindly optimistic," Li Yizhong said that the company has resumed work, people have returned, sent electricity, and the machine has turned up, but it is far from reaching production standards. According to statistical surveys, by the end of April, nearly 85% of the industrial enterprises that had reached the normal production level by regulation were close to 85%. 15% of the enterprises did not reach half of the normal level.

  Why can't we resume full-scale production after resuming work?

  Li Yizhong pointed out that there are many influencing factors: First, people must strictly implement normalization prevention and control; Second, upstream and downstream of the industrial chain, the supply of raw materials and spare parts, manufacturing processes, and product sales have not yet been fully broken through; There are still many difficulties in opening up cross-province and cross-border links. Fourth, capital. Affected by the epidemic, the company's income has decreased, costs have increased, liquidity has been tight, and investment capacity has declined.

  What challenges will China's industrial recovery face in the future?

  Li Yizhong believes that the above problems are gradually being resolved. The most important issue affecting the future industrial recovery is the unpredictable changes in domestic and foreign markets in the coming months and even next year.

  The first is domestic demand. Some companies report that some customers with existing orders have cancelled or postponed orders, new orders have decreased, and demand has fallen. Affected by the epidemic, it is very difficult for economic entities to maintain normal income. It is also possible that some residents' income will decline. Due to this, unit consumption and household consumption may be more cautious.

  The second is external demand. The overseas epidemic is still spreading. The impact of the epidemic on foreign economies is more serious, and the recovery time will be longer. This has led to the cancellation of old foreign orders and the sharp reduction of new orders. Chinese companies have a lot of key parts, components, and key materials, and they need to import large quantities. Some of the international supply chain may be interrupted. Nor does it rule out the "return" of some foreign capital withdrawals. These may pose challenges to Chinese industry.

  The superposition of domestic and foreign situations will deepen the trauma to the economy, and the demand and supply will be seriously affected. how to respond?

  Li Yizhong said that there are three main ideas: First, it is more urgent to expand domestic demand. We must start with encouraging consumption and expanding effective investment, increase policy support, and implement results. The second is to take effective measures to support and help enterprises, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, so that they can stand on their own to help themselves through the storm, and protect the economic fundamentals to the greatest extent. The third is to seize the time, make up for shortcomings, strengths and weaknesses. Through innovation, scientific and technological development and effective investment, etc., reduce the import dependence of parts, components, key materials, etc., and enhance China's independent self-control capabilities. (Finish)