Business / Economy

China to tap potential of consumer demand

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-04-30 10:19

China to tap potential of consumer demand

A saleswoman shows how to follow the WeChat account of the shop, Feb 9, 2015. [Photo/IC]

BEIJING - China's latest move to import more consumer goods will not only promote balanced trade, but also tap into the great potential of domestic demand as a source of sustainable growth.

The country will increase the import of consumer goods with high Chinese demand in an effort to give domestic consumers more choices, a State Council executive meeting decided on Tuesday.

China will trial reduced import tariffs for high-demand goods before June, gradually expanding the number, a statement following the meeting said.

The country will also adjust the consumption taxes for mass consumer goods, such as clothing and cosmetics, and set up more duty-free shops at ports while enriching the variety of goods available.

Meanwhile, China will promote the export of competitive Chinese products and create a trade environment featuring fair competition.

The move will help promote domestic consumption, improve people's lives and push domestic industries to medium-high levels, the statement said.

Earlier this year, media reported that Chinese tourists bought everything from cosmetics to high-tech toilet lids while traveling abroad, provoking a fierce debate on the attractiveness of Made-in-China products.

Data from the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) showed a record 100 million trips overseas by Chinese. The trips usually were accompanied by a shopping spree.

Zhao Ping, a researcher with the MOC, said new measures to reduce tariffs will reduce the cost of imported goods and guide consumption back to China.

In the future, consumers can enjoy convenience and lower prices when purchasing imported goods, which in essence leads to an improvement in people's welfare, according to Wang Jian, a professor with the University of International Business and Economics.

The government has attached great significance to the role of consumption in stabilizing growth amid a slowing economy. According to the government work report in March, the country will attempt to tap the huge potential of mass consumption as a strong driving force for growth.

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