Industrial activity seems to be back in full swing in Northeast China’s Liaoning province with over 90 percent of the companies having resumed production by Monday, officials said.
BMW Brilliance Automotive, a joint venture between Germany’s BMW Group and Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd, has been one of the enterprises that have successfully resumed full production after the novel coronavirus outbreak-related closures. The carmaker’s output reached 3 million at its unit in Shenyang, capital of the province, late last month.
BBA resumed production from its Dadong and Tiexi plants in Shenyang on Feb 17, with nearly 20,000 employees, including those from its suppliers who worked at the plants, returning to work as scheduled.
In addition to cutting electricity charges for companies from February to June this year, the provincial government has provided other supportive measures covering aspects like logistics, shuttle bus services for workers, and construction of new projects for companies in need, to ensure timely resumption of production.
As the impact of the outbreak is only regional, short-term and manageable, it will not hamper Liaoning’s economic growth and business environment for attracting overseas capital this year, said Wang Zhuoming, deputy head of Liaoning Provincial Development and Reform Commission.
“Like other key export-oriented provinces such as Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Guangdong, Liaoning has a complete manufacturing system, especially for heavy industries. Its economy is backed by resilience and ample scope for innovation,” said He Rui, deputy director-general of the Liaoning Provincial Department of Commerce.
Thanks to the successive policies related to foreign trade and investment stabilization introduced by the central government, more favorable conditions will be created to enrich Liaoning’s industrial chain and business ties with close trading partners such as South Korea, Japan and Germany, he said.
Businesses ranging from automobiles, information technology, aviation and power generation equipment have been given priority to restart production in Liaoning, after the Spring Festival holiday. The government has also helped manufacturers that export their goods to resume business, improve the services for foreign companies and deal with foreign trade restrictions.
Milan Nedeljkovic, a member of BMW’s board of management responsible for production, said BBA produced 530,000 vehicles in 2019, and its 3 millionth vehicle, a plug-in hybrid, demonstrated the group’s determination to dig deeper into China’s new energy vehicle market. The German automaker to date has invested over 52 billion yuan ($7.4 billion) and built two vehicle plants and one powertrain plant in Shenyang.
Apart from donating 31 food and drug delivery robots, and smart medical ancillary equipment to hospitals across Liaoning in February, Shenyang-headquartered Siasun Robot and Automation Co put two fully-automated production lines making face masks into operation last week. Based on two types of work procedures, each of them can produce 100 and 45 face masks respectively per minute.
The company and the Shenyang Institute of Automation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences currently are also developing a robot that can replace nurses in conducting throat tests for the virus.
Danfoss Group, one of Denmark’s largest industrial groups by sales revenue, exported 350 metric tons of goods via cargo aircraft, 140 TEU(twenty-foot equivalent units) and 24 containers of products through maritime transportation and freight train services from its plants in China between Feb 10 and March 5, with total exports valued at 250 million yuan.
“A certain amount of these goods was manufactured by our factory in Anshan of Liaoning,” said Xu Yang, president of Danfoss China.
Danfoss will continue relying on the flexible business environment created by the Belt and Road Initiative and China-Europe freight train service to ship products to other global locations from its plants in Liaoning and other locations across China, he said.
Apart from boosting business, Liaoning, the industrial heartland of the country’s northeast region, has also sent more than 2,000 doctors and nurses to Hubei province to combat the outbreak. Supported by over 1,000 front-line medical staff, the province’s medical team runs Leishenshan Hospital in Wuhan, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak.