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China sees only short-term virus impact on Southeast Asia economies

Jumat, 21 Februari 2020 / 16:35 WIB
China sees only short-term virus impact on Southeast Asia economies
ILUSTRASI. China sees only short-term virus impact on Southeast Asia economies. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

Sumber: Reuters | Editor: Yudho Winarto

KONTAN.CO.ID - JAKARTA. A senior Chinese diplomat on Friday sought to ease concerns about the economic impact on Southeast Asian countries from the coronavirus outbreak, including delays in infrastructure projects that are part of China's Belt and Road Initiative.

Policymakers in Southeast Asia, which has close trade and investment links with China, have been scrambling to mitigate the impact of the virus outbreak on their economies.

Some Belt and Road projects in the region are already delayed because Chinese workers have been unable to return after the Lunar New Year holidays, while a lockdown in parts of China has prevented imports from arriving.

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Deng Xijun, China's ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), said Beijing had taken measures to support enterprises involved in Belt and Road projects, including by helping companies prepare to resume their work overseas in an orderly way.

"China is the number one trading partner of ASEAN for the last 11 years and China is also the main source of tourists and investment .. so for sure it will have a negative impact with the economic and trade relations," Deng told reporters.

"However, I think this is temporary and short term," he said.

Deng, at the briefing in Jakarta, said some projects employed many local workers and some Chinese managers had gone "native" and did not return to China for the holidays.