Shandong takes steps to stabilize foreign trade

(| Updated : 2020-04-15

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Port employees help a cargo vessel dock at the container terminal of Qingdao Port, Shandong province. [Photo/Xinhua]

The accelerating spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought major shockwaves to the global economy and international trade and investment. Authorities at all levels in Shandong province have been ramping up efforts to help local foreign trade enterprises secure orders and customers.

E-Alliance Group is one of the largest foreign trade enterprises in Weihai Nanhai New District, and about 80 percent of its business involves partners in Japan and South Korea.

Due to the pandemic, the company's orders fell sharply in February.

"When we resumed operations in February, we were receiving only three to four thousand export orders a day. We couldn't get any money from our customers in time due to the epidemic," said Huang Shanzhi, deputy manager of the company.

The lack of capital made business unsustainable. After learning about the situation, the management committee of the Weihai Nanhai New District coordinated and helped the company apply for a bank loan of 10 million yuan ($1.41 million), and at the same time tried to put in place an industrial support fund of more than 5.7 million yuan.

"The fund has not only relieved some of our financial pressure we're experiencing, but also helped us to further expand our market," said Huang.

The company's orders soon rebounded to more than 10,000 orders per day thanks to the financial support.

The management committee of Weihai Nanhai New District has launched tax, finance and other relevant policies to provide support for enterprises in getting through this difficult period.

In the first quarter of the year, the district's import and export volume reached 2.7 billion yuan, up nearly 30 percent from the same period last year.

Kenli district in Dongying provides accurate services for foreign trade enterprises through big data analysis.

The district has listed all 53 local foreign trade enterprises in its database and has established a dynamic tracking mechanism to provide more accurate and intelligent services.

Thanks to the logistics "green channel" opened up for enterprises by the local commercial and transportation departments, the goods produced by Baofeng Auto Parts Co were able to be transported as usual during the epidemic prevention and control period, and were delivered on time to European and American customers.

"In March, the company's exports are expected to reach 42 million yuan, up 46 percent year on year. In the first quarter of the year, its exports are expected to reach 118 million yuan, up 51 percent year on year," said Zhang Xuechun, assistant general manager of Baofeng Auto Parts Co.

"We have also established a grid service management system to help local enterprises resume operations and resolve issues such as labor shortages, logistical problems, and supply shortages amid the epidemic," said Yang Lihai, deputy director of commerce in Kenli district.

According to Yang, from January to March this year, the total foreign trade in Kenli district reached 2.29 billion yuan, among which exports totaled 930 million yuan, up 9.8 percent year on year.