A proposal to lower China's import tariffs might lead to an increase in spending on luxury consumer goods, China Business News reported Thursday.
"To further reduce the import tariff, including the duty on middle- and high-end products is the direction," Ministry of Commerce spokesman Yao Jian said Wednesday at a monthly news conference.
Yao said related ministries and commissions will work together to study and design a new tariff policy, since imports relate to the framework of the country's macro-economic policies and also influence enterprises, industries and service sectors.
The reduction in customs duties on high-end products might mean more domestic spending on luxury goods, the newspaper reported. Yao Jian said in March that 20 high-end brand products from five categories, such as watches and electronic products, were 72 percent more expensive on the mainland than in France, 51 percent more expensive than in the US, and 45 percent more than in Hong Kong.
"Middle- and high-end products are only for a small amount of people," said Zhang Yansheng, director of the Institute for International Economic Research at the National Development and Reform Commission. A reduction in import tariffs should cover more products and benefit a much wider population, he said.
"The country must not focus on luxury goods before the majority of the masses become rich," Zhang said.