[Commentary] On August 13, the State Information Office held a regular briefing. Assistant Minister of Commerce Ren Hongbin said at the meeting that since 2020, the new crown pneumonia epidemic has had a huge impact on the development of foreign trade. The Ministry of Commerce, in conjunction with various departments, promptly introduced a series of policies and measures to stabilize foreign trade. After hard work, from January to July 2020 , China’s imports and exports are better than expected and have gradually stabilized. Since April, exports have been increasing for four consecutive months. Private enterprises have become "stabilizers" of foreign trade.

  [Concurrent] Ren Hongbin, Assistant Minister of Commerce

  From January to July this year, our country’s imports and exports should be better than expected. According to the latest WTO data, our import and export performance is better than that of major global economies, and ASEAN has become our largest trading partner. Private enterprises have become the "stabilizer" of foreign trade. The export of private enterprises increased by 6.4%, and the proportion increased to 54.5%, accounting for half of the country. The commodity structure is continuously optimized. The general trade status is more prominent. New business formats such as cross-border e-commerce are developing rapidly.

  [Explanation] At the meeting, a reporter asked that some countries have recently provided "moving fees" to their companies to help them transfer China's industrial chain to Japan or Southeast Asian countries. Against this background, what measures will China take to increase the confidence of foreign companies investing in China? Zong Changqing, director of the Department of Foreign Investment Management of the Ministry of Commerce, said that some companies adjust their industrial layout and global resource allocation based on factors such as factor costs, trade environment, and supply chain stability. Most of them are normal market behaviors. But at the same time, individual countries and regions have shown signs of excessive government intervention in the adjustment of the global industrial chain supply chain. Nevertheless, China is still the main investment destination for most multinational companies.

  [Concurrent] Zong Changqing, Director of the Department of Foreign Investment Management, Ministry of Commerce

  Since the beginning of this year, my country has achieved strategic results in the prevention and control of the epidemic. Economic growth has turned from a decline to an increase. This has made the resumption of work and production of various enterprises, including foreign-funded enterprises, better than those in the world, and strengthened the expectations and confidence of foreign investors in China. According to statistics from the Ministry of Commerce, from January to July this year, 18,838 foreign companies established new businesses in China. Among them, there are 415 newly established Japanese companies in China, 860 in the United States, 849 in South Korea, 584 in Singapore, 296 in the United Kingdom, and 245 in Germany. These data fully prove the attractiveness of the Chinese market.

  [Commentary] In addition, when talking about the impact of US sanctions on Hong Kong on China's foreign trade, Ren Hongbin responded that Hong Kong is one of the world's important free trade ports. The status of Hong Kong as a separate customs territory cannot be granted by the United States. It is stipulated by the WTO and accepted and recognized by all members.

  [Concurrent] Ren Hongbin, Assistant Minister of Commerce

  Recently, the United States has introduced some restrictive measures, such as announcing the cancellation of Hong Kong's special treatment, suspension of export license exemptions, etc. These measures have seriously interfered with China's internal affairs and undermined Sino-US relations to harm others and ourselves. We will actively take measures to further strengthen the economic integration between the Mainland and Hong Kong, further expand opening up under the CEPA framework, support Hong Kong's full participation in the "Belt and Road" construction, advance the construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and promote Hong Kong's stability, prosperity and development.

  Liu Xuanting reports from Beijing

Editor in charge: 【Luo Pan】