Shanghai restarts operations and services in phases, with over 10,000 outlets in operation

Shanghai residents line up to shop at a supermarket amid the resumption of business. Photo: CGV

With supermarkets, malls and convenience stores in Shanghai set to reopen from Monday, flights between Shanghai and some other cities set to resume, and as companies like Tesla and SAIC Volkswagen resume production and even exports of their vehicles, the city with a population of about 25 million regains its economic capacity.

The market recovery, which comes after nearly two months of business suspension, shows the government’s determination to strike a balance between epidemic control and economic recovery.

Shanghai is set to restart commercial and service activities in phases from Monday, with shopping malls, supermarkets, pharmacies, wet markets, catering and hairdressing services to resume offline operations as soon as possible. orderly, Chen Tong, deputy mayor of Shanghai, announced at a press conference. briefing on Sunday.

The resumption of trade and business activities will be carried out in phases according to the principle of orderly opening, limited flow, effective control and classified management. Special passages will be designated for businesses to limit the flow of personnel, while wholesale food markets are also allowed to conduct contactless transactions to control traffic.

According to Chen, the number of commercial outlets in operation in the city increased to 10,625 from the lowest number at less than 1,400, with the daily number of delivery orders reaching 5 million.

A vendor named Lin selling meat products at a grocery store in Minhang district told the Global Times on Sunday that the grocery store had obtained the permit as a daily necessities supplier and would reopen on Monday.

In order to apply for the permit, the applicant must provide business licenses, negative results for nucleic acid tests and antigen tests, and other application documents. They must also take regular nucleic acid tests after resuming activities.

“I hope the outbreak can be contained and the lockdown lifted as soon as possible, as my fellow sellers and I are not sleeping at all in the shabby premises of the store and we have to eat either instant noodles or food. shared by nearby residents, which is rather difficult,” said Lin, who has been sleeping at the store for two months.

As the city releases the “pause button” and expands the scope of business resumption, it is particularly aimed at helping businesses involving commercial enterprises restart operations. Gu Jun, director of the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce, said at the press conference that Shanghai has drawn up a business resumption guide for major foreign trade enterprises and issued two batches of “whitelists” for 704 major foreign trade enterprises, which cover retail trade. , services, foreign company headquarters and port services.

About 63% of the first batch of 142 whitelisted business enterprises have resumed operations, and the second batch of 562 enterprises are preparing to restart. The third batch of 820 whitelisted companies will be released soon, Gu said.

Phased reopening

“Hanging the ‘trade button’ in Shanghai for too long will not only disrupt global supplies, as Shanghai is a leading global logistics hub, but also pose the risk of supply chains leaving China. If this happens , it is certainly much more difficult to recover these industries even after the coronavirus is under control,” Xi Junyang, a professor at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, told the Global Times on Sunday.

Businesses are actively coordinating with the government’s return to work arrangements.

South Korean cosmetics giant Amore Pacific, for example, told the Global Times via a written statement that the first group of employees had gradually returned to the company’s factory in Shanghai’s Jiading district to resume work. work.

The company has taken multiple measures to ensure the stability of its business operations, including the closed-loop management of its employees, the designation of special driving routes and unloading sites for its logistics vehicles, as well as the use company warehouses and logistics centers in other cities to ease the logistics pressure.

“COVID will not affect our confidence in China’s long-term development,” said Mike Hwang, chairman of Amorepacific China.

Tesla is also expected to export the second batch of vehicles worth about 4,000 to overseas markets, having already shipped about 4,700 electric cars after work resumed on May 11, a report by kankanews.com noted on Sunday. .

Besides commercial enterprises, many industries are gradually resuming normal operations after some downtime.

Shanghai-based Spring Airlines and Juneyao Airlines will resume services from Monday amid a gradual decline in the number of daily new positive infections in the city.

Juneyao Airlines told the Global Times it will resume flights between Shanghai Pudong and Fujian’s Longyan from Monday, the company’s first domestic passenger flight from Shanghai since the city’s closed-loop management.

Shanghai’s manufacturing sector is accelerating the pace of work resumption. Overall, nearly 50 percent of Shanghai’s 9,000 large-scale industrial enterprises have resumed work, a local government official said Friday.

As one of the companies in the first group of companies on the whitelist, SAIC’s production line has resumed production and all staff are under closed-loop management, a staff member told the Global Times on Sunday. company surnamed Shi.

According to Shi, the business has been managed by the network at the critical time of epidemic prevention and control to ensure personnel safety, speed up recovery and improve supply chain capacity. The company shares its knowledge of epidemic prevention and control via WeChat and offers psychological counseling courses to help employees relax and regain confidence.

Turning

The accelerated pace to bring Shanghai’s business activities back to normal reflects the government’s eagerness to prevent domestic economic growth from slowing further, as the economic suspension of China’s financial and logistics hub has dampened growth in the river delta. Yangtze, and should have some impact on China’s overall economic growth as well.

“As Shanghai and the Yangtze River Delta are important production bases in China, the economic shutdown in these regions will weigh heavily on China’s industrial and production performance,” said Cong Yi, a professor at the University. finance and economy of Tianjin. Hours on Sunday.

This has already manifested itself in recent economic statistics. For example, many cities in eastern China’s Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces saw double-digit declines in government revenue in April, including Suzhou, Hangzhou and Ningbo.

China’s export growth in April, which stood at 3.9%, was also below market expectations.

Therefore, the resumption of economic activities in Shanghai could lead to a turning point in the economy’s recent downward trend, as the Chinese economy is expected to rebound in late May or June, experts said.

“Shanghai’s resumption of work is a signal that the government is taking measures to offset the impact of the COVID-19 situation on the second-quarter economy,” Cong said, forecasting second-quarter GDP growth. should be around 4%, down from 4.8%. in the first trimester.

CITIC Futures predicted in a report released on April 30 that second-quarter GDP would grow 4.2% year-on-year.

He said once the pandemic is fully contained, China will provide a strong set of stimulus policies to revive the economy in the second half of this year.

Xi Junyang agreed that the negative influence of COVID-19 outbreaks will peak in the second quarter, with April-June GDP growth slipping to around 3 percent and the consumer inflation index hitting around 2.5. But with the economic recovery in place, the economy will begin to recover from June.

“A full recovery will take another two or three months, as the city will still be strict on pandemic control and prevention, and it is difficult for the economy to return to pre-pandemic levels. But a rebound is sure,” Xi said.

Economists offered a number of suggestions at the 2022 Tsinghua PBCSF Chief Economist Forum held in Beijing on Saturday. Yu Yongding, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said China should consider expansionary fiscal and monetary policies to boost domestic demand and boost imports, as well as increase imports of raw materials and strategic goods.

Guan Tao, chief global economist at BOC International, also said that with China’s large economic size, broad policy space and policy space, China should have the confidence, capacity and conditions to do in the face of current challenges.

“The key is to do China’s business, stabilize the macroeconomy, and maintain China’s leading role in pandemic prevention/control and economic recovery,” Guan said.

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