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Guo Wenqing Hosts a Special Conference on Epidemic Containment from Abroad and Production

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On March 17, Mr. Guo Wenqing, China Minmetals' President and Deputy Party Group Secretary and MCC Chairman, hosted another special emergency conference on China Minmetals’ epidemic containment and production abroad, based on the rapid spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outside of China. The preventive measures for the coronavirus and production of overseas subsidiaries and projects of MCC, Minmetals Development Co., Ltd., Minmetals International (HK) and others were briefed in the conference, and the containment of coronavirus and production management were discussed and deployed.

Guo Wenqing pointed out that the guiding principles given in General Secretary Xi Jinping's important speeches should be carried out to plan and proceed the containment of COVID-19 and social-economic development. As downward trends continued in China and the domestic outbreak was generally under control, COVID-19 tended to spread across the world. Many countries had a grim, complex epidemic situation and some had declared a national emergency and put entire nation on lockdown to contain the coronavirus, causing an economic shock to the world’s stability.

Guo Wenqing stressed that China Minmetals attached high importance to overseas subsidiaries to contain the coronavirus through president meetings and special meetings for the deployment of epidemic prevention and economic output. As China’s biggest metal mining group, China Minmetals had many international subsidiaries with large asset size and onerous tasks to promote production. The rapid spread of coronavirus outside of China caused difficulties in epidemic prevention and business operation. The pressure of overseas subsidiaries to address the epidemic spread and economic output was growing.

Guo Wenqing put forward the following six demands for the epidemic prevention and production work in an orderly manner for overseas subsidiaries, especially the ones situated in epidemic hard-hit areas.

First, we should follow a prudent operating principle in the containment of the epidemic. Confronting the uncertainty of global economy caused by the epidemic, all overseas subsidiaries should put the safety and health of employees in first place. Well prepared preventive measures should be a precondition to implement the operating principle that prioritizes stability. Project risks should be fully considered and performance evaluation treated in an objective, dialectical perspective, without blindly pursuing operational indicators or growth rate. Overseas subsidiaries were required to adhere to prudent operating principle throughout the production and strive for the best output, as employees’ health was ensured and project risks under control.

Second, we should well manage inbound and outbound travelers. The focus of China’s battle against the coronavirus shifted to prevent imported cases that had become the primary source for all the diagnosed. Local governments took more strict measures to isolate returnees. To better control inbound and outbound transportation of China Minmetals, all personnel with the need of moving to and returning from abroad, should be properly registered and recorded in accordance with the regulations of entry and exit control of local governments. In order to prevent any imported infection, it was significant to ease the psychological distress of employees working abroad.

Third, we should well control all types of risks by fully and accurately understanding the difficulties. With an educated guess of challenges caused by the spread of the coronavirus, all overseas subsidiaries should make an adequate estimation of impacts on production to make sure the response measures were prepared. Risk prevention should be strengthened. And risks of all types should be well controlled and solved to ensure there was no occurrence of major accidents. The shortage of labors and materials should be addressed with good knowledge of operating rhythm of overseas subsidiaries. Risk control measures should be studied and put forward to be consistent with local situations. Contingency plans in all areas should be prepared in advance as the epidemic went worse. In addition, risks in contract execution and performance should be fully investigated to ensure an effective risk control would be activated in the epidemic outbreak.

Forth, we should effectively improve a regular dispatching of major projects and mines. China Minmetals should work harder on regular dispatching of overseas major projects and mines in the containment of the epidemic. MCC was required to research and grasp the international situation and rationally allocate the resources of metallurgical construction echelons to make sure the contracts of major projects were effectively executed and proceeded in a stable manner, especially the contract performance of big projects. As virus curbing measures were well prepared, the mining should be operated in an orderly way to raise its efficiency and optimize the operation programs. A close-off paramilitary management model was recommended for mines abroad.

Fifth, we should carry out the overseas trades in an active yet prudent manner. The trading firms should insist on the business policies of “putting both ends of production process on the world market with the production of laws and contracts; maximizing the imports and exports” by closely watching market situations and paying high attention to risk investigation. Using derivative instruments such as hedging to offset the risks of price reduction and inventory impairment. A productive communication with customers from both upstream and downstream should be conducted to timely adjust the rhythms of purchasing and marketing as well as strategies according to actual situations. The range of goods and market mechanism at home and abroad should be studied and optimized to make best use of resources. Trading firms should take responsibilities to establish and practice accountability system for every business. 

Sixth, we should carry out a risk-based regulation on financial capitals for several companies. After taking all factors into consideration from market outlook, cost of capital, debt paying ability to asset liquidity of overseas subsidiaries, we should mark out a warning line based on relevant financial indicators. Firms that showed less ability to pay off the debt and the ones with high financial risks should be listed with special attentions from China Minmetals to impose a risk-based regulation for financial capitals.

The leaders of China Minmetals including Liu Caiming, Zhang Zhaoxiang, Jiao Jian and Ren Zhufeng attended the conference together with heads of relevant headquarter departments and all directly-managed enterprises of China Minmetals, including Zhang Mengxing, Wang Shilei, Zou Hongying, Yin Sisong, Xue Fei, Liu Lijun, Zhang Shuqiang, Zhao Zhi, Xing Yan, Xu Jiqing, and Liu Qingchun.

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