Imports to hit $1tr by 2010

By Jiang Wei
Updated: 2007-06-29 07:29

China is trying to bolster imports to more than $1 trillion by 2010 - up more than 25 percent from $792 billion last year - in an attempt to balance trade, the Ministry of Commerce said Thursday.

The projected 2010 imports figure is almost equal to the country's total trade volume in 2004.

To restructure the country's exports and narrow its widening trade surplus with major trade partners - which hit $177.5 billion last year - the government has adopted a range of measures to curb exports.

In the latest and boldest move yet to rein in exports, the country announced that it will eliminate or cut tax rebates for more than 2,800 export items effective July 1.

Export tax rebates for 553 categories, such as cement, fertilizer and non-ferrous metals, will be eliminated. Rebates for another 2,268 products, described as "easy to trigger trade frictions", will be slashed from 8-17 percent to 5-11 percent. They include garments, toys, steel products and motorcycles.

The reduction of export tax rebates on resource-intensive and polluting products is necessary for China's own development, Wang Xinpei, spokesman for the ministry, said.

"China has never pursued a big trade surplus. The current surplus is a result of international demand and supply."

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