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Supply chain key to prosperity Release date: 2020-06-12    Source:China Daily

International organizations, government departments, businesses and academia are calling for joint efforts from countries and regions across the globe in response to the increased uncertainty in the global supply chain and in trade caused by the outbreak of COVID-19.

A high-level economic dialogue was held at the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai) on Wednesday. It was the warm-up event for the Hongqiao International Economic Forum of the third China International Import Expo, or CIIE, which will take place in the city from Nov 5 to 10.

The pandemic has highlighted the significance of managing risks in the global supply chain for the world's economy. Examining the issue and globalization in general, the dialogue is expected to shore up confidence in the global economy after the COVID-19 outbreak, strengthen communications between businesses and improve the forum's global influence, according to the CIIE Bureau.

Wang Bingnan, vice-minister of commerce and director-general of the CIIE Bureau, said the virus outbreak affects the development of the global industrial and supply chain. As a result, rapid stabilization of the chain is urgently demanded by industries.

"Restoring stability of the global industrial and supply chain requires the international community to work together in the fight against our current challenges," Wang said. "Under such conditions, discussing and exploring more effective ways to cope with the challenges is of great significance."

Jean-Pierre Raffarin, former prime minister of France, addressed the audience in a video clip as the pandemic continues to spread across the world, saying the dialogue is particularly important to promote communication and cooperation. All countries and regions should strengthen cooperation, safeguard multilateralism, promote mutual understanding, respect each other and work together to meet their challenges.

During the discussion section, representatives from government departments, international organizations, financial institutions and companies discussed the impact of the pandemic on enterprises' global supply chain, industrial chain and long-term operations. They exchanged ideas to overcome challenges and discussed the government's role in supporting supply chain restoration and construction.

Experts also shared their latest findings on globalization and gave suggestions on setting up international economic and trade rules of higher standards.

Representatives said as COVID-19 prevention and control is normalized, uncertainty will increase in global economic and trade development, and in global industrial and supply chain management. It is necessary for all countries to work together to stabilize the global industrial and supply chain with greater openness and better cooperation and accelerate the recovery of the world economy, the representatives said.

So far, preparation for the third CIIE and business registrations for the event have gone well. As an important part and parallel event of the CIIE, the Hongqiao International Economic Forum, which consists of a main forum and parallel sessions, has also gone smoothly, according to the CIIE Bureau.


He Yaqiong

Deputy director-general of the Bureau of Operation Monitoring and Coordination, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology

"With the global economy in decline, some industries in China have still managed to achieved positive growth. We believe that through joint efforts, the sudden epidemic was only a temporary phenomenon, and it will pass eventually. China's economy and the world's economy will soon usher in a new and bright future."


Xie Jianmin

First-level counselor at the Department of International Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs

"We ensured the stable supply and market prices of agricultural products during the outbreak of COVID-19. Agriculture was like a ballast while fighting against the epidemic. In the next step, agriculture will continue to play its strategically important role to support development. We hope that this forum can help further promote the opening-up of China's agriculture industry."


Wang Xinkui

Chairman of the Shanghai WTO Affairs Consultation Center

"I don't think COVID-19 will have a fundamental impact on the globalization of the economy, but it has affected global supply chain security. Chinese enterprises cannot maintain growth without the global supply chain. So how they establish a mechanism to secure the global supply chain in an uncertain international environment is a top priority. The third CIIE will play an important role in forming a new development pattern that supports each other at home and abroad."


Jeongmin Seong

Partner at the McKinsey Global Institute

"Globalization is currently undergoing some structural changes, which indicates the second half of globalization development has just begun. COVID-19 is accelerating the process. Globalization will feature three characteristics, which are regionalization, service-centered and digitalization. Companies will have more flexibility for shortened supply chains and improved efficiency. Domestic supply chains in developing countries such as China and India will be further improved."


David Aikman

Chief representative officer at the World Economic Forum in China

"The pandemic demands the global cooperation among governments, international organizations and business community. I've been thrilled to see a number of Chinese companies stepping up during the virus outbreak. We are very encouraged about China's efforts, not only in terms of driving growth and recovery, but also the statements by the leaders of Chinese government about repairing and resetting the global multilateral system, so we look forward to China's continued leadership and opening-up."


John Denton

Secretary general of the International Chamber of Commerce

"How do we trade in an era in which global disruptions like the COVID-19 could become more frequent? One very clear next step is to take advantage of technological capabilities available to us to digitalize trade. Our aim is to take the analogous trading world, and turn it into a digital world. We will give the same legal recognition to digital documents in transactions as we do to paper. This will improve efficiency, reduce cost and shorten delays dramatically."


Zhang Xinyuan

Deputy general manager at Bank of China Shanghai Branch

"The sales revenue of many companies has dropped by 20 to 30 percent year-on-year due to the virus outbreak, which has triggered a new financial demand. As a commercial bank, we have to serve goals in six areas including securing employment in response to the central government's requirements. We also have to manage risks and provide financial support to businesses. We are making sure we carry out our social responsibilities while also maintain good risk control."


Gu Yue

Party secretary and chairman of the board at CPIC Property Insurance

"The financial industry has abundant resources which can be channeled into the economy. It should bear a responsibility of supporting business resumption. It is also a key function of the insurance industry. We have developed plans to help businesses resume production, and as a result secure people's livelihoods. The plans benefit front-line workers in the battle against the virus, and workers and projects in the country taking part in the Belt and Road Initiative. They also benefit makers of medical supplies, vaccine developers and small and medium-sized enterprises."


Fabrice Megarbane

President and chief executive officer at L'Oreal China

"For us, our global supply chain is an integrated global network. This connection among all the facilities is one of the key factors that allow us to resume to work quite fast in China. Our global supply network is also connected in terms of being a system of demands. Being able to sense the demands of end-consumers and to respond in a fast and agile way with our factory and production is also a key factor for the rebound. We also partner with all our suppliers to be able to bring solutions to respond clearly to the outbreak of crisis."


Qiao Jian

Senior vice-president, chief strategy officer and chief marketing officer at Lenovo

"Globalization is irreversible from the perspectives of both supplier and buyers. Global demand has pushed China's and the whole world's supply chain development. Global economic recovery will be strongly supported by the global resource allocation. High-tech development can bring about opportunities to all countries in the world and drive their economies. Globalization, smart technology development and digitalization will also support global economic development."


Marco Hecker

Chief strategy officer at Deloitte China

"COVID-19 has changed the way companies and countries look at their industrial and supply chains. There are three major trends that will set the stage for any kind of future adjustment. Supply chain localization has really been put in focus. The security and availability of products will be reinforced by tight supply control. For non-national strategic industries, it will drive low-end manufacturing from China likely to Southeast Asia. For expert-led industries, there will be an adjustment from all players across the entire value chain and industrial structure."


Zhou Xuejun

Global vice-president of Louis Dreyfus Company, and chairman and CEO of Louis Dreyfus North Asia

"China is one of the world's major consumers of agricultural products and food. Its role in promoting the development of the global agro-industrial chain cannot be underestimated. As a leading global agricultural products processing and trading enterprise, Louis Dreyfus has been actively engaged in the construction and optimization of global agricultural products and the food supply chain. A highly internationalized industrial chain will push the agricultural industry toward automated, electronic and digital directions."