Policies to boost imports urged

10:37, August 19, 2010      

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As the central government struggles to transform China's economic development, it should emphasize growth in imports and research on import policies, said Wei Jianguo, general secretary for the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, a high-level think tank, on Aug. 18.

Wei predicted that the possibility for a monthly trade deficit in the rest of 2010 still exists, and China will record a trade deficit of 50 U.S. dollars to 100 billion U.S. dollars this year.

Several researchers and officials from the Ministry of Commerce have recently emphasized that China would take multiple policy measures to boost imports in order to maintain the balanced development of foreign trade. Market expectations for policies favoring imports are emerging.

In fact, the Chinese government has already taken a series of actions to stimulate imports. The tariff level of China was cut to only 9.8 percent this year. Meanwhile, China accelerated facilitation of import procedures, expanded zero-tariff coverage for the least developed countries and organized activities to boost foreign trade.

Yao Jian, spokesman of the Ministry of Commerce, said at a press conference on Aug. 17 that the ministry believes the development of imports has significant meaning for the structural adjustment of China's economy and sustainable development.

"China's imports and exports did not make a synchronous rebound, and the expansion of imports will be helpful to the trade balance," Yao said.

During the global financial crisis, multiple policy measures helped to maintain the upward trend of China's imports. However, the import growth rate declined significantly in July.

In the context of falling import growth rate, the appreciation of the yuan and a growing number of trade disputes, encouraging imports is no doubt a good choice. Relevant government authorities will release measures to boost imports, Yao said.

By Qi Shuwen, People's Daily Online


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