A China Railway Express worker directs loading of cargo at Yiwu, Zhejiang province, which now has rail links to the European market. (Photo by Zhu Xingxin/China Daily)
Easier customs, facilitation pacts, FTAs, MoUs... China's growth pursuit gets a fresh set of teeth
High growth-minded China is turning its economic spotlight on trade again, after sustained emphasis on supply-side reform. [Special coverage]
Cuts to overcapacity in certain sectors and rationalization of companies in key industries are still important. But the country will also help with more negotiations on trade facilitation agreements with foreign countries, including Canada and Israel, according to officials.
There's more to the trade push, of course.
China will simplify and reduce administrative approval procedures related to customs declaration and clearance, and speed up the establishment of a framework for relevant laws and regulations.
General Administration of Customs spokesman Huang Songping said the government will cut the time for cargo clearance by over 30 percent this year.
To raise the efficiency of customs procedures, free mandarin lessons will be given to dialect-speaking domestic business owners and their staff.
"China will further crack down on smuggling of foreign agricultural products and the import of prohibited foreign garbage including plastics, slag from steelmaking, vanadium slag, unsorted scrap paper and discarded textile materials this year to ensure a healthy growth of the country's foreign trade," said Huang.
"Rising demand for goods in overseas markets, high-tech trading of products, the Belt and Road Initiative and growing confidence will build a solid foundation for China's foreign trade this year," said Wang Shouwen, China's vice-commerce minister.
"Deepening technological progress and economic globalization present to all countries unprecedented opportunities and an urgent necessity to enhance economic and technological cooperation," said Wang.
The Ministry of Commerce plans to assist manufacturers in identifying "specific regions" in key emerging export markets, particularly in BRICS economies like Brazil, Russia and South Africa, and markets related to the Belt and Road Initiative, to further diversify and expand trade ties.
China's export growth eased for the second consecutive month in August to 6.9 percent in yuan-denominated terms, down from 11.2 percent in July, as global demand softened, according to data released by the GAC.
Imports showed stronger growth than exports, at 14.4 percent in August, though a bit down from 14.7 percent a month earlier, which experts said suggests consolidated domestic demand.