China will step up efforts to keep its sprawling industrial economy running stably in the second quarter so as to provide strong support for the macroeconomy amid uncertainties both at home and abroad, the nation’s top industry regulator said on Tuesday.
Luo Junjie, a spokesman for the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said the ministry will ratchet up efforts to implement policies such as ensuring the smooth operation of logistics and helping companies resume operations in regions hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic in order to promote steady growth of the industrial economy.
Luo said the MIIT will also organize nationwide comprehensive inspections to reduce burdens on enterprises and promote the development of small and medium-sized enterprises.
“We are also studying and preparing some follow-up policy measures to stabilize industrial growth in response to changes in the overall situation,” Luo said.
The comments came after China’s industrial economy registered a steady start in the first quarter, with industrial output growing 6.5 percent year-on-year-2.6 percentage points higher than that of the fourth quarter of last year, said the National Bureau of Statistics.
In March, a string of new challenges emerged amid resurgent domestic COVID-19 cases and international uncertainties, such as disruptions in industrial and supply chains, difficulties in the production and operation of small, medium-sized and micro enterprises, and rising raw material prices.
“But the fundamentals of China’s sound long-term industrial economic growth have not changed, nor has the overall trend of recovery and development. There is still a solid foundation for boosting the industrial economy,” Luo said.
To safeguard the stability of industrial and supply chains amid rising COVID-19 cases, the ministry said it will take multiple measures to get through bottlenecks in industrial and supply chains. It has established a “white list” system for key industries to resume operations and strengthen coordination among ministries and provinces and cross regions.
“We will strengthen the supply of important raw materials to stabilize prices, bolster the supply of key products such as potash fertilizers and rare and precious metals, and help automakers deal with chip shortages,” he added.
Sun Huaibin, vice-president of the China National Textile and Apparel Council, said the contagion has disrupted logistics in some areas of China, which inevitably affects normal production and operation of the textile and apparel industry, whose supply chain is very long.
But as the central and local governments step up their push to stabilize industrial and supply chains, the measures have gradually taken effect, Sun said, adding that the council plans to hold a consumption festival later this year to help the textile and apparel industry better deal with the impact of the contagion.