Shenzhen gears up for rapid economic rebound
By Xu Hua

Shenzhen, China's southern financial hub, is gearing up for a rapid, steady economic rebound after getting the COVID-19 outbreak under control.

Due to the blow dealt by the pandemic, the city's economy grew by 2 percent in the first quarter, the lowest among China's four tier-one cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

Shenzhen's banks are offering 200 billion yuan in loans to help small and micro businesses offset the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The lenders have the option to renew loans, extend loan periods, adjust repayment arrangements, and waive default interest.

This comes right to the aid of entrepreneurs like Guo Jiao, CEO and founder of Shenzhen Huayunhong Technology.

"These preferential policies could help us quickly expand production capacity so that we can deliver products to our customers in a timely manner, which will help develop the entire industry," Guo said.

As capital is the most critical need for businesses and enterprises to survive, a safe, steady supply of capital can guarantee a safe, steady industry.

Therefore, Shenzhen's banking authorities has issued 14 measures to stimulate economic growth.

Industries hit hardest by COVID-19 like catering, wholesale and retail businesses are encouraged to make reach out for financial help.  

Pang Chunyang, deputy division chief of money and credit management department of the Shenzhen Branch, the People's Bank of China (PBC), told CGTN that the first batch of loans worth 10 billion yuan ($1.47 billion) have been issued to micro and small enterprises.

By the end of April, banks across Shenzhen had communicated with over 200,000 enterprises, 82,000 of which are qualified to apply for loans under this program, Pang said.

Meanwhile, Shenzhen also steps up efforts to promote cross-border trade.

Shenzhen's foreign trade volume decreased by 2.8 percent when compared to last year's first quarter. Additional measures have been rolled out to facilitate trade, investment, financing, and the use of renminbi for cross-border enterprises.

"The PBC initiated a pilot program to facilitate cross-border use of the renminbi in 2019, and formally introduced the program in 2020. The program is aimed at making outward and inward remittance readily available," said Yang Shu, vice general manager of the International Business Department of the Shenzhen Branch, China Construction Bank.

This program has played a key role in the construction of anti-epidemic projects in Hong Kong that demand funds to be paid in a timely manner. 

Zeng Xiang, chief financial officer of the China State Construction Hailong Technology, told CGTN that "it used to take two to three days to receive funds from clients in Hong Kong, now the company can receive RMB in real time once our cross-border RMB settlement application was approved, and can directly use it to pay the downstream sub-contractors and suppliers, which greatly improves the efficiency of our construction of makeshift hospitals and related isolation facilities."

Shenzhen's GDP witnessed a growth of 6.7 percent year on year to reach 3 trillion yuan in 2021. With a great effort being made to maintain the stability of its industries and supply chains, the city hopes to see 6-percent GDP growth this year, surpassing 4 trillion yuan of aggregate demand over the next five years. 

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