Scientific personnel are racing against time to research on and develop COVID-19 vaccine at a lab of Suzhou Abogen Biosciences, east China’s Jiangsu province.
The company fully resumed work on Feb. 3 to accelerate research and development of COVID-19 vaccine, on the heels of an anti-COVID-19 provincial program that encourages scientific personnel to carry out research on epidemic prevention and control, diagnosis and treatment, testing, and application of medical instruments.
As a major export-oriented city, Suzhou has rolled out a package of policies to help enterprises resume work and production and stabilize foreign trade and investment, including a 12-term package that aims to maintain stability of the foreign trade enterprises issued at the early phase of work resumption.
Ying Bo, CEO of Suzhou Abogen Biosciences, said the company received a two-million-yuan special fund on R&D of COVID-19 vaccine only five days after application. Besides, it enjoys a three-month rent exemption offered by the bioengineering and pharmaceutical industrial park where it is located. The park also provides a place for the company to develop the mRNA vaccine.
“We’ve been given strong policy support to resume production,” said Cai Qifeng, head of the operation department of Chunhua Technology (Kunshan) Co., Ltd. located in Kunshan, Jiangsu province.
Sending workers back to the company through a chartered train, Kunshan New & Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone, where the company locates, also issued an allowance of 546,000 yuan for the company to stabilize employment, subsidized the company with 34,600 yuan for its import and export businesses, and offered it with a three-month discount of social insurance contribution, Cai introduced.
The foreign trade companies in the province are also making efforts on their own parts to restructure and upgrade their businesses.
“The epidemic is a test to our ability to develop,” according to Chen Xiaodong, president of Jiangsu Guotai International Group based in Zhangjiagang, Jiangsu. Chen believes that his company must retain its customers, market and channels, focus on key clients, and maintain shares in mainstream markets and supply channels. Besides, it also needs to improve its capabilities and reduce costs.
“The production of our manufacturing department has returned to a normal level, and the sales volume in March is expected to reach 80 percent of that before the epidemic. We are affected by the epidemic in the short term, but our headquarters is still confident about the Chinese market,” said Yang Ming, deputy general manager of Panasonic Industrial Devices Materials (Suzhou) Co., Ltd., adding that the company will expand its input in technological reform so as to transform and upgrade its products.
Affected by the epidemic, the industrial, supply and value chains all face a new round of restructuring. As an important link on the global supply chain, Suzhou has found its niches and strived to maintain, complete and improve the supply chain.
After having a thorough investigation into the work resumption of the suppliers, OEMs, and distributors of major companies in the sectors closely related with epidemic prevention and control, production, and daily life, as well as other industries that concern national economy and people’s livelihood, Suzhou made a list of alternative companies. As of March 15, the city had mobilized 3,582 enterprises to restart work.
Wistron Group located in Kunshan Comprehensive Bonded Zone, Jiangsu province which has about 500 suppliers found 47 first-tier suppliers in just a day thanks to the coordination of local government, said Zhou Hongren, general manager of the east China region of the company. These suppliers accelerated the company’s work resumption and secured its supply chain, Zhou added.
As a major export-oriented province, Jiangsu has unveiled 22 measures to actively cope with the epidemic and stabilize foreign trade. A number of cities, including Suzhou, Wuxi, Taizhou and Nantong have all come up with policies to support foreign trade since February. They’ve also proactively offered assistance to enterprises to resume production.
Statistics from the Bureau of Commerce of Jiangsu province indicate that by March 24, more than 94 percent of the province’s wholly foreign-owned enterprises, 99.7 percent of enterprises above designated size, and nearly 90 percent foreign trade companies in the province had resumed production. Major foreign trade companies and those above designate size have all restarted operation. All of them are accelerating capacity recovery.