Premier Li stresses smoothing transportation and logistics

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang speaks in a meeting on stabilizing economic growth and the job market in Kunming, Yunnan province on May 18, 2022. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

BEIJING – Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has stressed further smoothing transportation and logistics to ensure the operation of market entities and stabilize the economy.

Li, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the remarks while inspecting the Ministry of Transport on Monday.

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He called for efforts to reconcile COVID-19 control and economic and social development.

While inspecting the freight distribution conditions of highway traffic, ports and airports via video, he underlined the need to roll out measures to clear the backlog of containers in ports as soon as possible while containing the COVID-19 epidemic.

Relief measures are needed to restore the development of those sectors essential to national development and the people's wellbeing, said Li

China's economy has been deeply integrated into the world economy, Li said, stressing further efforts to facilitate handling and transshipment services and to raise the efficiency of customs clearance, in a bid to ensure smooth exports and imports while stabilizing industrial and supply chains.

He also talked with wheat harvesters via video. This is a critical time for the wheat harvest, he said, stressing the improvement of services for farm-machinery drivers and the need to ensure the summer grain harvest to stabilize market supply and prices.

After listening to a briefing by the ministry, he underscored the key role that transportation plays in ensuring people's livelihoods and controlling COVID-19.

The Chinese Premier urged local governments to strengthen coordination on safeguarding smooth transportation for key industries, regions and enterprises, and helping secure positive growth in freight volume as soon as possible, so as to lay a solid foundation for reasonable economic growth in the second quarter and maintain long-term sound and steady economic development.

Given the large number of logistics enterprises and truck drivers, he underlined thorough implementation of preferential policies, including VAT credit refunds and the deferral of social security premiums.

Relief measures are needed to restore the development of those sectors essential to national development and the people's wellbeing, such as the civil aviation and railway transportation industries.

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He also stressed transportation safety and urged efforts to investigate and rectify risks to prevent serious and major accidents.

More efforts should be made to cultivate market players in the logistics sector and help them flourish, while building a unified and open transportation system to reduce logistics cost and promote economic vitality, Li added.