East China's Shandong province has introduced more online resources to help local businesses resume full production after the Lunar New Year holiday that was extended due to the outbreak of novel coronavirus pneumonia, or NCP, as human-to-human contact is being discouraged across the country to reduce the risk of infection.
The province has launched a number of online government services for local residents and enterprises, including approvals, real estate registration and integration, and more.
"All 687 examination and approval items at the Qihe county service center can now be inquired about and examined online, while 560 items can be handled entirely online," said Ding Ran, director of the Qihe county government service center in Dezhou, Shandong province.
"While we are pooling efforts to fight against the epidemic, it is equally important to assess its impact on the development of the local economy," said a Shandong official.
The province has also been promoting business and investment through video conferences, an innovative way to maintain economic growth amid the NCP outbreak.
After preliminary online negotiations, Qingdao's Chengyang district signed strategic cooperation agreements with several partners on Feb 6 using online channels. The contract is worth 2.15 billion yuan ($308 million) and involves high-end equipment manufacturing and a new generation of information technology industries.
Beijing-based software company DHC confirmed investment in a project valued at 3 billion yuan in Qingdao's Laoshan district on Feb 7 through a video conference between Beijing and Qingdao.
"During this critical period in preventing and controlling the epidemic, Qingdao is using online channels to accelerate business cooperation and attract investment and talent," said Wang Qingxian, Party secretary of Qingdao.
The Beihai Economic Development Zone in Binzhou held a video meeting on Feb 8 to detail current epidemic prevention and control work and progress on cooperative projects to its partners in South Korea.
Officials from the Weihai municipal bureau of commerce said that they are keeping in close contact with investors through WeChat, e-mail, and more.
"Although we can't currently have face-to-face meetings, we are sending promotional videos, investment guides and industry information to investors and merchants to keep them up to date on our epidemic prevention work and local factory conditions."
The bureau's efforts are gradually paying off. Weihai currently has 144 major projects under negotiation, a local official revealed.
"Despite certain negative influences on the short-term growth of the economy, the NCP outbreak will not affect the nation's long-term outlook," said an official from Qingdao.
"We need to find innovative ways to promote development and work to improve the business environment for local enterprises."
People work in a food-processing plant in Gaoqing county, Zibo, Shandong province on Feb 7. [Photo/Xinhua]
An man works in a construction steel plant in Binzhou, Shandong province on Feb 7. [Photo/Xinhua]