China to cut import tariffs on mid-range, high-end products

16:34, June 17, 2011      

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China will further cut import tariffs on certain items, including certain mid-range and high-end products, said Ministry of Commerce spokesman Yao Jian on June 15.

"There is a growing consensus among Chinese government agencies that lowering tariffs has become an irresistible trend," Yao said.

Yao noted that domestic consumption grew slower in 2011 than last year, but overall China has witnessed strong growth in the total retail sales of social consumer goods in recent years. The country’s economic growth mainly relies on domestic demand, especially on the demand for final consumption, indicating that consumption will continue to be the driving force behind economic growth.

According to the recent Hurun White Paper on Chinese Luxury Travelers, tourists from the Chinese mainland accounted for 17 percent of the global luxury spending, ranking first in the world. Watches and jewelry led the list of Chinese tourists’ favorite products, accounting for 31 percent of their overseas purchases, followed by clothing and fashion accessories, which accounted for 29 percent.

According to the Commerce Ministry's data concerning the sales of 3,000 major retailers in May, daily necessities witnessed steady growth in demand, while mid-range and high-end products such as communications equipment experienced slower growth in demand. Yao said that the sales of home appliances, communications equipment, vehicles, and household products have maintained relatively rapid growth in the past few years.

The recent slowdown in sales growth may be due to the central government's macro-control policies in the automobile, real estate and other areas, though the annual growth rate of China's jewelry sales has been over 50 percent for several years. In the long run, the introduction of policies concerning housing, luxury goods and the social credit system will provide a stable and predictable policy environment for China's consumer goods market.

By People's Daily Online
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