BEIJING, March 11 (Reuters) - A total of 5,637 force majeure certificates have been issued to companies in China affected by the coronavirus outbreak, covering a total contract value of 503.5 billion yuan ($72.47 billion), a Chinese trade body said on Wednesday.
In its latest update on the process, the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCIPT) also said that two firms in China with investment from the United States and South Korea have also applied for certificates.
Force majeure is a clause which allows companies to suspend their obligation to fulfil contracts after unexpected events such as strikes and natural disasters.
The CCPIT pledged to help virus-hit companies safeguard their rights and reduce their losses by issuing the certificates, although business is now picking up again as the number of new infections slows in China.
The CCPIT did not name the U.S. and Korean-invested companies that applied for the force majeure certificates but said the contract value involved was “more than 7 million yuan and more than 5 million yuan,” respectively.
It added that it was strengthening communication with embassies and consulates of various countries in China, as well as with chambers of commerce, to extend its service to more foreign-funded enterprises.
$1 = 6.9479 Chinese yuan renminbi Reporting by Tom Daly, editing by Louise Heavens