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China moves to support its export sector

(Global Times)

13:45, September 19, 2012

The State Council announced Tuesday a raft of measures to inject vitality into its sluggish export sector, which has taken a hit amid the global economic downturn.

The latest announcement including 16 measures in total came on the heels of the State Council's statement last week after a regular weekly meeting of China's cabinet presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao, which laid out eight measures in a move to facilitate export growth.

In addition to a reiteration of enforcement of the pervious eight measures such as paying export tax rebates faster, granting more loans to exporters, and increasing export credit insurance to small companies, the new announcement said the government would implement reform measures of the foreign exchange management regime to help facilitate trade.

Improving the export structure in a way to boost exports of high-tech and value-added products, as well as encouraging transfers of processing trade into the inland regions from the coastal areas are also highlighted in the latest move to prop up growth in the world's second largest economy.

The nation continued to see weak trade performance in August as exports rose just 2.7 percent year-on-year to $178 billion.

But economists expressed doubts over the effectiveness of such measures to help the country's sluggish export sector regain growth momentum so as to spur the economy.

"Such measures are short on details, which are unlikely to greatly stimulate the country's lackluster exports, as we are yet to see any obvious improvements in the external environment, a key to a recovery of momentum in the export sector," Tang Jianwei, a senior macroeconomic analyst at Bank of Communications in Shanghai, told the Global Times Tuesday.

"2012 will be a tough year for the export sector, growth of which is estimated to be below 10 percent," Tang predicted. This compares to growth of 20.3 percent in China's exports in 2011, according to customs data.

President Hu Jintao warned earlier this month that the world economy was hampered by "destabilizing factors and uncertainties" and that the 2008-09 financial crisis was far from over.

The country's economy expanded at its slowest pace in more than three years in the second quarter of the year, growing 7.6 percent over the previous year as demand at home and abroad slackened.

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