Taiyuan, capital of Shanxi province, will roll out a series of measures to reduce the adverse impact of the novel coronavirus pneumonia epidemic on its foreign trade and ensure the smooth operation of imports and exports throughout this year, officials said.

According to the Taiyuan bureau of commerce, the city's foreign trade has been greatly affected by the epidemic over the past few months. From January to February, the total value of imports and exports was 11.69 billion yuan ($1.65 billion), a year-on-year decrease of 13.4 percent.

Under the plan, Taiyuan will continue to develop its foreign trade entities, as well as consolidate and expand the market share of these entities. 

Taiyuan will establish and attract 100 new foreign trading companies in 2020 and guide leading agricultural products and processing manufacturing enterprises in local Gujiao, Loufan, and Yangqu counties to expand their export channels. 

It will guide trading and production companies, as well as e-commerce enterprises, to participate in foreign trade by taking part in overseas exhibition and fairs and developing cross-border e-commerce. 

The city will encourage and support leading foreign trade companies to advance their development, incubate foreign trade enterprises and projects in key industries and reward companies which perform well in stable export volumes, self-operated export supplies and emerging market development. 

Leading enterprises in equipment manufacturing, metal castings, glassware and the chemicals industries are being encouraged to set up marketing service platforms in key export markets and to build overseas warehouses to increase the overseas reputation of Taiyuan's leading industries. 

Officials said Taiyuan will deepen its economic and trade cooperation with countries and regions along the Belt and Road, as well as use credit guarantee policies to help enterprises develop in emerging markets. 

While keeping the epidemic situation under control, local enterprises will be organized to participate in key foreign-related exhibitions in China to help them and their products go global.

In addition, the city will focus on fostering new formats of foreign trade industry by constructing a China (Taiyuan) Cross-Border E-Commerce Comprehensive Pilot Zone, committed to improving the number of cross-border e-commerce companies and the scale of cross-border e-commerce transactions.