Beijing – On the afternoon of 28th February, Mr Wang Shouwen, vice minister (VM) of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and deputy China International Trade Representative, held a conference call with Jörg Wuttke, president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, during which VM Wang expressed his great appreciation for the European Chamber and its member companies’ great work and contributions made during the COVID-19 outbreak period.

During the one-hour call, the Ministry of Commerce recognised the recent efforts the Chamber has put into compiling surveys and regular policy updates on the COVID-19 for members. VM Wang stated that the Ministry of Commerce attaches high importance to the survey results. Ministry officials would also take them into account in future discussion with local commerce departments and bureaus, trying their best to assist foreign-invested companies to resume their work and production in a timely manner.

In addition, VM Wang thanked European businesses for their generous donations, both cash and supplies, the total value of which has now surpassed Chinese yuan (CNY) 1 billion. Contributions from pharmaceutical and healthcare equipment enterprises were also specifically mentioned.

VM Wang said he believed that, although the outbreak is still ongoing, under the great guidance of President Xi Jinping, China would undoubtedly and eventually win the battle with the COVID-19. The minister said measures taken will be differentiated according to regional differences and levels of risks. At the moment, the prevention and control of the COVID-19 and the resumption of production activities are considered equally important. VM Wang added that if Chamber members encounter certain difficulties when resuming production, the Ministry of Commerce will help to settle issues through their networks with local commerce authorities. 

VM Wang also emphasised that the opening up of the foreign investment sector will continue and a more level playing field implemented. He said China is and will continue to be a dependable and reliable market for foreign investors.

President Wuttke shared insights on some common concerns among Chamber members, reaffirmed the Chamber’s commitment to China and further touched upon other issues such as the Geographic Indicator Products Agreement, the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement of Investment, the EU-China summit, and high-level economic dialogues, among others. Following the call, VM Wang indicated that exchanges on the COVID-19 and relevant topics will continue between the Ministry of Commerce and the European Chamber.