Eight foreign trade groups from Europe, Germany, Japan, South Korea, U.K. Chambers, AmCham China, AmCham Shanghai, and the U.S.-China Business Council met with Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao on Monday, April 18.

As Bloomberg reported, the representatives discussed with Wang the economic impact of China’s zero-Covid policy.

Jens Hildebrandt, executive director of the German Chamber of Commerce in North China, said, “The current policy with lockdowns leading to production stops, logistic and supply chain disruptions and restrictions on the movement of people do not only pose a short-term concern but will leave their marks on the long run.”

He added, “We are looking for clear signals on how the Chinese government will help to ease the burden through relief programs such as tax reductions, reduction of social insurance payments, rent deductions.”

Steven Lynch, managing director for the British Chamber of Commerce in China, said, “We would like to see clarity on China’s dynamic Covid-19 policy, and measures under this policy should be directly proportionate to the risk posed.”

In a newsletter, AmCham China, or the American Chamber of Commerce in the People’s Republic of China, said that it raised questions about foreign passport holders could not use some Chinese Covid-19 apps. It also suggested China approve the use of foreign vaccines.
AmCham Shanghai and the U.S.-China Business Council declined to comment.

Joerg Wuttke, president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce, said China has promised to cooperate with international firms to overcome supply chain challenges. But Beijing did not change its view about its Covid Zero toolbox.

Reuters reported on April 19 that Shanghai has hand-picked 666 companies to go back to operations.

According to TechNode, a third of the list are auto manufacturers and suppliers. The city, however, has not issued any official resume date.

As reported by China Daily, mainland China on Monday recorded 2,723 local confirmed cases and 20,639 asymptomatic infections.

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