China will cut tariffs on consumer goods and enhance bank financing to boost imports and ensure more stable economic growth, senior commerce officials said on Thursday.
Wang Bingnan, vice-minister of commerce, said the country will amend the Catalog of Encouraged Technologies and Product Imports, encourage banks to provide more financial assistance, and expand imports of advanced equipment and key manufacturing components.
"China will improve the supply-demand balance to facilitate global trade, including accelerating customs clearance, and upgrading the inspection and quarantine system," he said at a news conference in Beijing.
Fu Ziying, vice-minister of commerce and China's international trade representative, said that the China International Import Expo, or CIIE, will be held next year between Nov 5 and 10 in Shanghai to accelerate the pace of opening-up and boost global trade.
The CIIE, which is expected to host businesses from more than 100 countries and regions throughout the world, is sponsored by the Ministry of Commerce and the Shanghai municipal government.
The total exhibition area of the CIIE will exceed 240,000 square meters, covering venues for trade, investment fairs and business exhibitions.
To support the expo, Zhou Bo, Shanghai's executive vice-mayor, said the city is building its free trade port zone and deepening institutional innovation at the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone to further consolidate its position as the country's import distribution center.
"Shanghai will integrate its existing trade exhibition, transaction and promotion platforms to build a one-stop import transaction service platform, online and offline," said Zhou.
Gu Xueming, president of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation under the Ministry of Commerce, said: "The government has been trying to shift from importing natural resources, capital and consumer goods to introducing advanced technology to local companies such as industrial robots and precision machinery, as part of its efforts to balance import and export volume and upgrade China's trade structure."
Gu said that in the long run, these high-end products will help small and mediumsized enterprises in China grow faster with more sustainable and innovative technologies and business strategies.
Eager to bring more advanced technologies and key equipment parts into China, the central government has already allowed companies to offer leasing of imported equipment for domestic buyers since 2014.
Preferential tax policies have also been introduced to facilitate imports of high-end equipment to encourage the country's industrial upgrading.