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Zhangjiagang moves to ensure stable development of foreign trade

(chinadaily.com.cn)

Updated:2020-02-10

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Zhangjiagang in East China's Jiangsu province rolled out a series of measures on Feb 9 to help foreign trade companies get through the ongoing virus prevention and control period which might affect their businesses, according to the local government.

The circular introduces 14 support measures in various fields, including low interest rates for small and micro-sized foreign trade firms, cost reductions for import examinations, subsidies for attracting investment, and other financial and government support.

The circular will be in effect for three months from the day it was announced.

Here are the 14 measures.

I. Increasing financial support

1. Encouraging the import of medical supplies badly needed for the fight against the novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCP). Relevant departments should set up green channels for the import of medical supplies, such as face masks and protective clothing. Subsidies will also be offered in accordance with national policies in terms of the import of advanced technology and equipment.

2. Increasing subsidies for export insurance. The government encourages companies to buy export credit insurance and will offer a 30 percent discount and 50 percent subsidies for the cost.

3. Increasing credit supply for businesses. Financial institutions are encouraged to loosen policies on using and repaying loans, and to defer or renew loans for businesses which have difficulties in repayment. Interest rates lower than the market average will be offered to small and micro-sized foreign trade firms.

II. Guaranteeing normal production and operation of foreign trade companies

4. Helping foreign trade companies resume operations in a timely manner. Governments at all levels are required to help companies with epidemic prevention and control before and after the resumption of work.

5. Encouraging foreign trade companies to attract investment. Foreign trade companies involved in the supply of materials for the prevention and control of the epidemic will enjoy priority in attending industrial exhibitions and applying for subsidies.

6. Reducing companies' examination costs on medical supplies. The government will offer 100 percent subsidies for examination and storage fees on imported medicines, disinfection materials, protective materials and medical equipment to be used in epidemic prevention and control.

III. Encouraging foreign trade companies to expand domestic and overseas markets

7. Supporting companies to put export products into the domestic market.

8. Offering subsidies for attending overseas exhibitions. For foreign trade companies unable to keep appointments to attend overseas economic fairs and exhibitions, the government will offer subsidies to cover part of the actual loss.

IV. Simplifying administrative procedures

9. Implementing "no face-to-face" application. Introducing online platforms for companies who apply for various certificates and need to register technology import and export contacts. Cutting down on the processing time and offering express delivery services.

10. Providing force majeure certificates in a timely manner. Companies who failed to perform their international trade contracts due to the epidemic outbreak can apply free of charge for force majeure certificates to the Zhangjiagang branch of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.

11. Offering subsidies for lawsuit and arbitration to foreign trade companies. The government will offer a subsidy of no more than 50 percent of the fees for attornies or arbitration to companies involved in disputes due to the epidemic outbreak. The subsidy for each company will be no more than 100,000 yuan ($14,340).

12. Deferring tax payments. Companies who made declarations in January can pay the taxes before Feb 24. Those who should have paid taxes before Feb 9 can now fulfill their duties by Feb 24.

13. Setting up green channels for foreign trade companies. The government will establish a fast processing system for companies who need to import medicines, disinfection materials, protective materials and medical equipment for epidemic prevention and control.

14. Helping companies pass through customs quickly. Encouraging companies to make declarations online. Providing timely fumigation and disinfection certificates.

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