China steps up efforts to stabilize foreign trade, support enterprises expand foreign market

Aerial photo taken on June 23, 2022 shows a cargo train, which marks the 10,000th trip made by China-Europe freight trains operated by the China-Europe Railway Express (Chongqing), waiting for departure at Tuanjie Village Central Railway Station in Chongqing, southwest China. (Xinhua/Huang Wei)

Since 2022, many regions in China, including south China's Guangdong Province, southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, and east China's Jiangsu Province, have unveiled measures to help foreign trade firms retain orders and expand their foreign market presence.

-- Greater policy support offered

From January to August, Guangdong's exports and imports registered at 5.27 trillion yuan, up 0.6 percent, while the exports increased by 4.9 percent to 3.34 trillion yuan.

The resilience of Guangdong's foreign trade development can be attributed to the major projects conducted by the province to promote high-quality trade development, including the digital trade project, "Canton Trades" brand project, customs clearance facilitation reform project, and new forms of trade project.

Guangdong proposed to hold over 100 online and offline economic and trade activities under "Canton Trades" and "Guangdong Trade Nationally" respectively every year, attracting over 10,000 enterprises to participate and supporting them to expand domestic and international markets.

"We will make breakthroughs in the major projects for high-quality trade development, making Guangdong an international trade center with rich production factors, effective resource allocation, and global trade leadership," said Zhang Jingsong, head of the Department of Commerce of Guangdong Province.

In Senci Electric Machinery Co., Ltd, which is located in Chongqing's Beibei District, machines were roaring in production workshops, more than 10 production lines were running in full swing, and workers were devoting themselves to producing petrol engines to be sold overseas.

With the support of government policies, the company made active attempts to access overseas markets this year, said Huang Yong, vice president of Senci Electric Machinery, adding that the company achieved an overseas revenue of 915 million yuan in the first half of this year, with an increase of 25.02 percent year on year.

According to Xu Xincheng, deputy director of Chongqing Municipal Commission of Commerce, Chongqing has established a mechanism to visit 100 key foreign trade enterprises and a follow-up service mechanism targeting 400 key foreign trade enterprises, intensified coordination of labor, electricity, gas, and logistics resources for foreign traders in automobiles and other core sectors. With such efforts, the city effectively boosted the confidence of such enterprises.

Zhou Xiaoyang, deputy director-general of Department of Commerce of Jiangsu Province, said that the province issued policies and measures to keep the fundamentals of the foreign trade stable, including 14 specific measures for cross-cycle adjustment to stabilize foreign trade, 16 measures to accelerate development of new forms and models of foreign trade, and 12 measures to ensure steady and high-quality growth in foreign trade.

Next, the Department of Commerce of Jiangsu Province will partner with relevant departments to guide enterprises to apply preferential policies, implement Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and other free trade agreements with high quality, expand trade exchanges with member states, hold several online meetings, organize enterprises to attend 50 international exhibitions abroad, and support enterprises to obtain more orders with Exhibition Representative Service and other methods.

-- New models of foreign trade development

As a food additive foreign trader with an annual output of over 260,000 tonnes in Jiangsu Province, the Jiangsu Kolod Food Ingredients Co., Ltd. has nearly 15 percent of its annual orders from overseas exhibitions. But affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the company could not participate in Food Ingredients Asia (Fi Asia) held in Indonesia.

Thanks to the Exhibition Representative Service provided by Jiangsu Lianyungang Bureau of Commerce, the company had received at least 40 clients and obtained potential orders valuing 500,000 U.S. dollars during the event.

New forms of business such as cross-border e-commerce have also become a vital force in stabilizing foreign trade. 

This year, by hosting a cross-border e-commerce fair, Chongqing has facilitated the pilot of the cross-border e-commerce business of "bonded import + retail sub-packaging", and provided new solutions for foreign trade enterprises to stabilize orders and expand their presence in overseas market. 

In the first eight months of this year, Chongqing's cross-border e-commerce transaction volume came to 29.19 billion yuan, up 50 percent.

As the pandemic sweeps across the globe, cross-border e-commerce, as a new business form, unblocks the channels for enterprises to enter the international market, and injects new impetus into foreign trade growth, said Wu An, director of the Institute of Industrial Economics of the Chongqing Academy of Social Sciences.

-- Preferential policies to enhance confidence

Since the beginning of this year, the Chongqing tax authority has optimized the export tax rebate service by improving classified management and streamlining the submission of materials, helping foreign trade enterprises stabilize funds, orders and markets. 

Data shows that from January to August this year, Chongqing had issued 16.085 billion yuan of export tax rebates, up 11 percent year on year.

In Dongguan of Guangdong Province, a city with booming foreign trade, Dongguan Customs provides enterprises with rational suggestions to ensure the delivery of orders, provides technical support for enterprise exports, and guides enterprises to fully enjoy the facilitation measures of RCEP. 

From January to July this year, Dongguan Customs has resolved 141 problems for enterprises within its jurisdiction.

In order to address the financing difficulties and high financing costs of micro, small and medium-sized foreign trade enterprises, the Chongqing Office of China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission has guided financial institutions to strengthen innovation in cross-border financial products and services, according to Xu Jie, deputy director of the institution.

Xu added that by extending the repayment of principal and interest, providing preferential policies and preferential interest rates for eligible micro, small and medium-sized foreign trade enterprises, the financing costs of foreign trade enterprises have been reduced. From January to August this year, Chongqing's financial industry has issued 274.443 billion yuan of loans to foreign trade enterprises, up 39.67 percent year on year. 

Editor: Yu Huichen
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