A cashier counts cash at a bank in Nantong, Jiangsu province. [Photo by Xu Jinbo/For China Daily]

BEIJING – Chinese authorities have urged efforts to extend financial support to major foreign-funded firms to lower their fund-raising costs and help them weather the COVID-19 economic fallout.

Major foreign-funded companies should get equal access to some financing programs as their Chinese counterparts, according to a circular released jointly by the Ministry of Commerce and the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission.

According to the circular, major foreign-funded companies are also eligible for a re-lending and rediscount quota of 1.5 trillion yuan ($229.5 billion) from the People’s Bank of China.

Meanwhile, 570 billion yuan worth of new loans from the Export-Import Bank of China could be used to support qualified major foreign-funded enterprises to offer them diversified and comprehensive financial support, said the circular.

Local government agencies must timely address financial services-related problems that foreign-funded companies face and promote cooperation between foreign-funded companies and financial institutions, the circular added.

Major foreign-funded companies include but are not limited to those in electronic and telecommunication equipment sectors, medical devices, automobile, and garment manufacturing. They also include companies related to trade and services, such as wholesale, travel, and elderly care, which have operational challenges, according to the circular.