Department of State Development
  • China has unveiled ¥3.6 trillion (US $500 billion) stimulus for the economy, promising a more aggressive fiscal response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The money will be used for tax cuts, rent reductions and investments such as 5G networks, railways, airports and other infrastructure projects. The stimulus is about 4% of GDP - a similar scale to the country's response to the global financial crisis in 2008 and 2009.
  • The Chinese Premier announced that China will not have a numerical GDP growth target for 2020 as a result of the coronavirus crisis. The is the first time an annual economic growth target has not been set since it began the practice in 1990.
  • The National Exhibition and Convention Centre (NECC) in Shanghai, the venue for the China International Import Expo (CIIE), will begin hosting exhibitions starting from 1 July, according to the president of the NECC. The centre will help the CIIE expand its online channels for product display.
  • The centre is currently in discussion with organisers of 45 exhibitions - including some that were originally scheduled to be held in March and April – to hold their events later in the year. 80 per cent of the exhibitions slated for the first half of the year will be moved to July and August.
  • Since 28 March, China’s borders have been closed to most foreigners based on the spread of COVID-19. This includes those with valid visas and residence permits, but excludes those with diplomatic, courtesy and service visas. Entry by foreign nationals with visas issued after the announcement are not affected.
  • On 17 April China’s National Bureau of Statistics reported that per capita disposable income dropped 3.9% to 8,561 yuan (US$1,209) in the first quarter, the first decline since the data series began in 2013.
  • Data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on 17 April 2020 showed China's gross domestic product (GDP) contracted 6.8 per cent year on year in the first quarter, revealing for the first time the near-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on a major economy.
  • The China Development Bank (CDB) will provide 360 billion yuan of financing support to the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area in 2020 as authorities called for further efforts to promote the development of the area. The latest guideline put forward 26 specific measures to promote the Greater Bay Area's cross-border trade, facilitate investment and financing, expand the opening-up of the financial sector, promote the connectivity of financial markets and financial infrastructure, and boost innovation of financial services.
  • The Chinese Government recently introduced measures to support the new energy vehicle (NEV) industry – electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles and fuel cell vehicles – which was hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak. The measures include the extension of tax exemptions as well as the continuation of subsidies, although the subsidy amounts have reduced.
  • Australia's trade surplus reached a record US $6.8 billion in seasonally adjusted terms in March, largely on the back of strong Chinese demand for iron ore. The Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed on 7 May that the record number was also helped by a slump in imports due to global supply chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19.
  • A breakdown of the data showed the output of the service sector, which accounted for nearly 60 per cent of the total GDP, dropped by 5.2 per cent, while the primary industry and secondary industry saw a decline of 3.2 per cent and 9.6 per cent, respectively.
  • China's rail freight volume, an indicator of broad economic activity, amounted to 346 million tons in March 2020, rising 4.5 per cent from a month earlier according to the China Railway Corporation.
  • China's foreign trade showed signs of stabilising in March with exports and imports both beating market expectations. Exports dipped 3.5 per cent year on year in yuan terms in March while imports climbed 2.4 per cent, data from the General Administration of Customs (GAC) showed.
  • On 13 April 2020, Shanghai authorities announced its latest action plan to promote the new online economy, which has been thriving during the COVID-19 outbreak.
    • According to the plan, by 2022, Shanghai is expected to gather over 100 innovative online economy enterprises and launch more than 100 application scenarios, with an aim to turn itself into a development highland of the online economy with international influence.
    • This strategy is supported by a new joint venture for a digital expo company between Alibaba and the Council for the Promotion of International Trade in Shanghai.
  • Many trade exhibitions have been postponed or cancelled. It is recommended that exporters continue to track relevant event websites or email event organisers for updated information. Note:
    • China Food & Drinks Fair (Chengdu Tang Jiu Hui), Chengdu, 21-23 May will proceed.
    • SIAL China, postponed from 13-15 May 2020 to 28-30 September at NECC in Shanghai.
    • CBME (China Children-Baby-Maternity Trade Fair) postponed to 10-12 October 2020 at the National Exhibition Center in Shanghai.
  • China's civil aviation regulator has lifted restrictions on the operation of all-cargo flights at Beijing Capital International Airport and Beijing Daxing International Airport.
  • All airlines can operate all-cargo flights at the two airports, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) told Xinhua on Wednesday. The CAAC cited the growing needs of cargo transportation and the handling capacity of the two airports as factors behind its decision to lift restrictions.
  • Sea freight continues to support trade between Australia and China as Chinese port congestion and supply chain disruptions ease. However, shortages of containers and ships is resulting in freight delays.
  • Economic recovery announcements in China include fast-tracking approvals for local businesses to reopen and build production levels; infrastructure spend;  increased liquidity to banks to enable them to defer loan repayments to SMEs;  and incentives to households to encourage spending, such as retail coupons and in some provinces, trialling an optional 2.5 day weekend.
  • From 3 May, Macau’s Barrier Gate checkpoint at the Zhuhai land border will operate between 6.00am and 1.00am daily, and the Macau-Zhuhai checkpoint on the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge will operate between 8.00am and 10.00pm.