We owe what we have achieved in economic and social development since last year and in COVID-19 control this year to the strong leadership of the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, the sound guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and the concerted efforts of the Party, the armed forces, and the people of all ethnic groups in China.
On behalf of the State Council, I express sincere gratitude to the Chinese people of all ethnic groups, and to all other political parties, people's organizations, and public figures from all sectors of society. I express heartfelt appreciation to our fellow countrymen and women in the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions, in Taiwan, and overseas. I also express sincere thanks to the governments of other countries, international organizations, and friends from all over the world, who have shown understanding and support for China in its endeavor to achieve modernization and in its fight against COVID-19.
While recognizing our achievements, we are also keenly aware of the difficulties and problems we face. The shock of the COVID-19 pandemic has sent the world economy into severe recession, disrupted industrial and supply chains, and caused a contraction in international trade and investment and volatility in commodity markets.
Domestically, consumption, investment, and exports have declined. Pressure on employment has risen significantly. Enterprises, especially micro, small, and medium businesses, face growing difficulties. There are increasing risks in the financial sector and other areas. The budgetary imbalances of primary-level governments have intensified.
There is still room for improvement in the work of government. Pointless formalities and bureaucracy remain an acute issue. A small number of officials shirk their duties or are incapable of fulfilling them. Corruption is still a common problem in some fields. During the COVID-19 response, many weak links have been exposed in public health emergency management, and the people have expressed their views and suggestions, which deserve our attention. We must strive to improve our work and fulfill our responsibilities and make every effort to live up to the people's expectations.