UPDATED: Alberta business owners file lawsuit over COVID restrictions | Business

Six months after ‘zero Covid,’ U.S. firms in China still face an unpredictable business climate

HONG KONG — After three years of trying to do business under some of the toughest Covid controls in the world, U.S. and other Western companies in China began 2023 with cautious optimism: The country was finally reopening and Chinese officials, eager to reinvigorate the economy, were actively courting overseas investors.

But a series of raids this spring on international consulting firms and other actions by Chinese authorities have undermined that message, reinforcing Beijing’s reputation as an increasingly unpredictable regime that poses growing risks for foreign commerce and investment, U.S. business groups and executives say.

The recent moves, coupled with ongoing diplomatic tensions with Washington, have further complicated the business environment between the world’s two largest economies even as they remain closely intertwined.

“What you’re seeing is a leadership that is — notwithstanding the rhetoric of, ‘We’re open, we’re back, we want foreign investment’ — that is just piling uncertainty on top of uncertainty. And the results of that, I think, are pretty predictable,” said a senior business executive who speaks regularly with U.S. officials and corporate leaders operating in China.

“When you create a more uncertain, less welcoming environment, business is going to vote with its feet,” said the executive, who spoke on the condition of anonymity out of concern that his comments could jeopardize his organization’s prospects in the country.

China is still a major focus for U.S. businesses, as evidenced by the recent stream of senior executives visiting for the first time since before the pandemic, including Apple CEO Tim Cook, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon and Tesla CEO Elon Musk. And most American companies operating there intend to stay, with three-quarters of respondents in an April flash survey by the American Chamber of Commerce in China (AmCham China) saying they were not relocating their supply chains.

China COVID Status and Reopening: Business Advisory Updates

  • China’s aviation industry accelerates recovery. According to the China Air Transport Association (CATA), China’s aviation has recovered rapidly in the first quarter of 2023, returning to almost pre-pandemic levels. According to the data, in the first three months of the year, the volume of passenger flights recovered to 82.3 percent of that in the same period in 2019. Meanwhile, cargo and mail traffic recovered to 80 percent and 89 percent of 2019 levels respectively.

    While domestic flight routes have recorded strong recovery, international flight routes, in particular to the European and US markets, have lagged behind due to factors such as “traffic rights, time slots, and airport support capabilities”.

    The CATA also predicted that the aviation industry will continue to recover in the second quarter of 2023, with passenger flight volume recovering to 98 percent of pre-pandemic levels and passenger traffic volume recovering to 85 percent of pre-pandemic levels. Domestic passenger flights are expected to reach 105 percent of 2019 levels, driven by a high demand for travel, while international regional flight volume is expected to recover to 45 percent of pre-pandemic levels.

    In addition, following multiple years of losses, China’s airlines’ profitability also rose in the first quarter of 2023, with passenger revenue more than doubling from the previous quarter, and the proportion of passenger revenue in transportation revenue “rising significantly”.

  • PCR-test free travel for passengers from the listed 34 countries. Air passengers traveling directly from 34 specific countries to China can now use an Antigen Rapid Test (ART) result as an alternative to the PCR test, according to recent announcements by Chinese embassies in several countries. These announcements may only be available in their original language or on their official WeChat pages, but they have been confirmed to be accurate. Passengers originating from the following countries are
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    She estimated that 10-20% of individuals with COVID-19 create lengthy COVID or submit-COVID problem (PCC), with symptoms including significant blood force, an irregular heartbeat, persistent fatigue, brain fog, muscle mass soreness, and blurred vision.

    “Some sufferers have not recovered two to 3 yrs immediately after the preliminary infection and it is uncertain no matter whether a proportion may perhaps at any time totally get better,” Nemer explained in the report, including that the lack of consensus on a apparent definition and diagnostic conditions can make it complicated to lodge promises for social help, disability supports, and insurance.

    There could be wider socio-financial implications as well, as examination of extensive COVID in other nations around the world, which includes the United Kingdom and the United States, indicated “significant impacts on the labour marketplace and the Gross Domestic Merchandise (GDP), in addition to health and fitness fees and demands.”

    Nemer mentioned Canada could face a “mass disabling celebration,” considering that it has grow to be “increasingly evident” that extensive COVID is a major condition that could raise the threat of quite a few persistent health conditions, which includes diabetic issues, hypertension and arrhythmia.

    Fifteen per cent (15%) of grown ups in Canada described some prolonged COVID signs or symptoms at the very least a few months just after a favourable COVID-19 examination, according to Data Canada, amounting to a whole of 1.4 million persons. However, owing to the deficiency of recognized diagnostic conditions, the range of people influenced could be underreported.

    Federal government reaction

    Nemer’s report made 18 suggestions that provided the establishment of a Canada-large investigation and clinical treatment community, as nicely as standardised assessments and clinical recommendations.

    The federal govt responded to the report by asserting its strategy to place aside $29 million in funding for the development of medical