Business / Policy Watch

Cabinet urges support for foreign trade

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-07-24 16:44

BEIJING - China will support imports by reducing tariffs on popular consumer goods, opening more duty free shops at ports and expanding the variety of duty free products, according to the State Council, the country's cabinet.

Guidelines issued on Friday urged governments at all levels to implement measures to foster imports and exports, as China strives to open wider to the world and upgrade its economy.

Policies on consumer goods imports should be improved, and more efforts should be made to create an easier business environment for foreign trade enterprises, according to the cabinet.

The guidelines called on ministries including the General Administration of Customs, the Ministry of Commerce and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) to facilitate more foreign trade in free trade zones and to offer tax refunds for exports.

To help enterprises avoid risks in cross-border trade, the cabinet also urged the People's Bank of China and the SAFE to keep the exchange rate of the Chinese currency, renminbi, at a stable and reasonable level.

It said reform of the yuan exchange rate's formation mechanism must be market-oriented and that renminbi settlement in cross-border trade must be made more convenient.

A more open environment is key to the steady growth of imports and exports, according to the guidelines, which did not specify any timeline for any of the moves.

China's total foreign trade dropped 6.9 percent year on year to 11.53 trillion yuan ($1.89 trillion) in the first six months of 2015, slipping further from a 6-percent decline in the first quarter, according to the General Administration of Customs.

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