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Ministry: self-discipline needed in textile export, import welcome
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09:37, January 23, 2009

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China's Commerce Ministry urged China's textile enterprises should strengthen self-discipline, raise the quality and added value of their products, and cooperate with their partners in other countries to cope with the risk of protectionism on the world market.

The foreign trade official with the ministry making that remarks also stressed that the Chinese market has provided huge business opportunities for foreign exporters, and that the current export tax rebate policy adopted by China is in line with WTO rules.

After the integration of global textile trade in 2005, China reached agreements with the EU and the US regarding China's textile exports to those markets. At the end of 2008, the agreements were all terminated as scheduled. Starting January 1, 2009, China no longer will implement quotas or licenses management for textiles shipped to the US, nor will it grant licenses for textiles exported to the EU. In addition, the system of reviewing the qualifications of businesses is also repealed.

Textile industries in certain countries are worried that China's textile exports would surge after 2008. They required that their governments renew agreements with China or adopt trade remedy measures against China's textile exports.

The foreign trade official said that both the G20 Summit on Nov. 15 and the APEC Summit on Nov. 22, 2008 expressed the world's opposition against protectionism in international trade.

He believes that on one hand, China should try to maintain a steady growth in exports, strengthen self-discipline in the industry, and export in an orderly manner. Exporters should raise the quality and added value of products, and avoid excessive growth in the export of certain products, something that may lead to trade remedy lawsuits filed in some importing countries.

He said that the Chinese government encourages the textile industry in China to develop international cooperation and promote bilateral textile trade dialogues with their partners in other countries.

China has taken measures to encourage textile imports. In 2007, an area was preserved for imports at China Import and Export Fair, China's largest trade fair. Overseas traders are welcome in the import exhibition of the Fair.

China has also lowered its import tariffs. In 2008, the average of China's import tariffs fell to 9.8 percent. Starting June 1, 2008, the country further slashed import tariffs for cotton. As the world's largest textile producer with 1.3 billion consumers, China is providing more opportunities for the textile industries of other countries and regions around the world to expand their exports to China.
The development of China's domestic textile industry has boosted imports of cotton, wool, raw materials for synthetic fiber and textile yarn. According to statistics by the General Administration of Customs of the PRC, in 2008, China imported 3.49 billion USD worth of cotton, 1.7 billion USD of wool, 750 million USD of synthetic fiber for textiles and 1.57 billion USD of synthetic fiber yarn and thread.

Growing domestic demand in China has created a large market for garment imports. In 2007, China imported 1.97 billion USD in clothing products, up 14.7 percent year-on-year. Between January and November of 2008, the nation imported 2.1 billion USD in clothing, up 16.6 percent from the same period of the previous year.

Regarding export tax rebates, the official explained that this policy was designed to deduct or reimburse the value-added taxes and consumption taxes imposed on export goods in their domestic process. The policy is in line with WTO regulations and is also an international practice.

The Ministry of Finance and the State Administration of Taxation jointly issued a document on July 31, 2008 raising export tax rebates on some textile products and garments from 11 percent to 13 percent. On October 21, the rebates were further increased to 14 percent, effective starting November 1. The difference between the tax rates collected and rebated is three percentage points.

By People's Daily Online

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