German Chamber of Commerce to resume charter flights to China

The German Chamber of Commerce in China is organizing charter flights to China, bringing in key personnel and their families as well as experts for short-term stays over the summer, the Chamber said on its WeChat account. It added that together with the German Embassy in China, it has been in talks with the Chinese Foreign Ministry about the resumption of a fast-track process for invitation letters, visa applications and charter flights. Starting from the third week of July until mid-September, the Chamber is planning to resume China-bound charter flights between Frankfurt and Qingdao in Shandong province. The service includes quarantine management and invitation letter assistance with the costs starting at €2,500.

German nationals with a valid residence permit in China and their family members, as well as employees of German companies, their spouses and families, experts and business travelers as well as foreign nationals coming to China for necessary economic, trade, scientific or technological activities, can apply for seats on the flights. In 2020, charter flights offered by the German Chamber helped bring 2,800 managers, employees and their family members to China.

A total of 21 Chinese-made Covid-19 vaccines are undergoing clinical trials; eight of them are in phase-3 clinical trials and four have been approved for market access and exports. Two of them have also been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) for emergency use. Sinovac's vaccine is under rolling review by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Once approved, Sinovac can submit an application for marketing authorization, allowing it to be used in the EU. However, individual countries can also approve its use, as is the case in Hungary.

The People's Bank of China (PBC) announced it will lower fees for small firms from September 30 in areas such as bank account services, yuan settlement and electronic banking. The fee reductions are estimated to total CNY24 billion per year, of which more than CNY16 billion will benefit small businesses and sole proprietors. The measure aims to improve the business environment and promote consumption. China has been extending support for small businesses that were severely hit by Covid-19, with continued, targeted tax and fee cuts and favorable borrowing terms. In 2020, China cut taxes and fees 28 times in seven rounds, saving businesses CNY2.6 trillion during the year. This year, another round of tax cuts worth CNY550 billion is to be implemented to support small and micro-sized enterprises, manufacturing enterprises, and innovative companies. From April 1 to December 31, 2022, the threshold for value-added tax (VAT) for small-scale taxpayers will be increased from the current monthly sales of CNY100,000 to CNY150,000. At the end of April, there were more than 44 million small and micro-sized enterprises and 95 million solely owned businesses in China.

The outbreak in Guangzhou is now under control. The city has no more high- or medium-risk areas after reporting no new locally transmitted cases in the nine days to June 28.

This overview is based on reporting by the China Daily, Shanghai Daily and Global Times.