The Chinese Prime Minister, Li Keqiang, has recognized that the Covid outbreaks that the country is suffering have hit the economy of the Asian giant more than it did the start of the pandemic in 2020 and asks to make the harsh containment measures compatible with stabilization economy and employment.
Li has admitted during a national teleconference organized last night by the State Council, that "the difficulties in March and April have been in some respects greater than those experienced in 2020 when the pandemic began" and has ordered government entities to apply for end of May the 33 measures recently approved by the Council of State to stabilize the economy.
The premier cited as an example the declines recorded in indicators such as employment, industrial production, energy consumption and freight transport and called for "efforts to keep the economy going and take swift action from now on to get the economy back on track." economy, reports the official Xinhua news agency."Development is the key to solving all problems in China," he said.
After recalling that the Government has launched several measures in response to the difficulties and challenges arising this year from "unexpected factors", it calls for efficiently combining control of the health crisis with socioeconomic development, and giving more importance to stabilization of growth, reports Efe.
To ensure compliance with the measures, the State Council will send working groups to 12 provinces starting today to supervise the work of local authorities in the application of these measures.
"Local governments must treat companies equally, continue to improve logistics and industrial chains to allow production to resume, and ensure the rapid distribution of social and unemployment benefits for people in need," he stressed.
China's international trade grew by just 0.1% in April compared to the figure for the previous year (5.8%); In the first quarter of the year, retail sales contracted by 3.5% and the official unemployment rate in urban areas stood at its worst mark in the last 22 months: 5.8%, 0.3 points above the figure for February and the GDP target that Beijing set for this year of 5.5%, one of the lowest in decades but also in the upper range of analyst forecasts, which could translate into a greater effort -via, for example, investment in infrastructure- to achieve it.
The knock has been the prolonged closure of Shanghai, the financial capital of China, whose 26 million inhabitants have spent two months confined - many still are - and most of its companies stopped or operating at minimum.