By He Yin
The sudden outbreak of the novel coronavirus pneumonia is shocking global trade and industrial chains.
At a recent meeting on COVID-19 held this Monday, G20 trade and investment ministers agreed in a joint statement that emergency measures designed to tackle COVID-19, if deemed necessary, must be targeted, proportionate, transparent, and temporary, and that they do not create unnecessary barriers to trade or disruption to global supply chains. The joint statement echoes the consensus reached by G20 leaders at a previous meeting.
Such voice signals the urgency for global countries to work together to minimize the impacts from the disease on global economy and prevent secondary hazards from impeding the world’s efforts to defeat the virus.
In an era of economic globalization, all economies share the same future in the global division of work and cooperation. At present, COVID-19 has hampered global industrial and supply chains, throwing global trade and outbound investment into disorder.
According to a report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, outward foreign direct investment may face a shrinkage of 40 percent this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now, the world is seeing a surging demand for disease control materials, the production and cross-border logistics of which concern people’s lives and health.
Therefore, to jointly enhance the hedge from macro policies, reduce the impacts on global production and demand, make investment environment free, fair, non-discriminatory, transparent, expectable and stable, and maintain an open market, is a choice that has to be made by every country.
According to traditional Chinese medicine, pain is relieved with improved blood circulation. To maintain openness of trade and flow of investment as a way to guarantee sufficient supply and reasonable price is of vital significance for the revival of world economy.
Just as Director-General of the WTO Roberto Azevedo said, no country is self-sufficient, no matter how powerful or advanced it may be. It’s becoming clearer and clearer that whether measures are taken to reduce tariffs, cancel barriers and make trade unimpeded is an important criterion for measuring a country’s sense of international responsibility.
As an important part on the global industrial and supply chains, China has always kept its promise of pursuing openness and cooperation, offering strong support with concrete actions for countries to jointly combat the pandemic and make coordinated efforts.
As the country is seeing improved situation at home and accelerating the restoration of economic and social orders, it is constantly expanding production of epidemic control materials, guaranteeing sufficient supplies for other countries to fight the pandemic and making Chinese contribution to the final victory over the virus.
For instance, China is a major supplier of bulk drug in the world. Over 80 percent of the enterprises in the sector have restored production, and over 80 percent of major products are being manufactured at full capacity. The daily output of medical protective suits grew forty-fold in just two months, and around 200,000 infrared thermometers are being delivered each day, up from the previous 15,000. Besides, China, while meeting the needs at home, has offered more than 1,700 invasive ventilation devices for foreign countries, and over 20,000 have been ordered.
In a short period of time, China has turned its production capacity into power to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, and its economic circulation has ensured smooth global supply chain. This shows that to keep the global industrial and supply chains open, stable and safe is of great importance to protect health and well-being of all mankind.
Openness and cooperation conform to the law of global economic operation, and remain important weapons to defeat COVID-19. Some countries fanned up the so-called “economic decoupling”, claiming to relocate industrial chains, and some even tried to cut the chains. However, any attempt that goes against the trend of time or economic laws will finally be in vain.
According to a recent survey by the American Chamber of Commerce in the People’s Republic of China, China still remains a major market for most of the U.S. enterprises in the country. China, as a world-recognized major manufacturer, is also a major country producing and exporting epidemic prevention and medical materials. The country’s achievements in containing the disease, as well as its practices to offer medical materials indicate that it is an indispensable power on the global industrial and supply chains.
Human beings share the same future, particularly in midst of the pandemic. To ensure openness, stability and security of the global industrial and supply chains is to ensure the lives of all human beings. Countries around the world should stand side by side and do their best to guarantee the security of human beings and facilitate human development.
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