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Import tariffs lowered to boost consumption

By Wei Tian  (China Daily)

15:45, December 18, 2012

Imported infant milk powder is among the list of items set to see lower tariffs starting from January as part of a major effort to boost domestic consumption. [Photo / Provided to China Daily]

China will lower the tariffs on 784 imported products starting from January as part of a major effort to boost domestic consumption, the Ministry of Finance said on Monday.

The temporary adjustment will allow the products, grouped into five major categories, to be imported on a tax rate that is lower than the most-favored-nation tariff, according to a statement on the ministry's website.

The new rates will take effect on Jan 1.

Lower tariffs on products closely related to people's livelihoods, including infant milk powder, have been much attention.

Tariffs will also be lowered on raw materials and spare parts for the equipment manufacturing industry and strategic emerging industries, such as robots used for automobile production.

Resource products as well as energy-saving and emission-reduction products will also benefit from lower rates.

Products that support the development of the agriculture and textile industry are also included on the list.

The measure aims to boost imports and meet an increasing demand from domestic consumers, the ministry said.

"The measures are in line with the call of the new leadership to boost imports and domestic consumption," said Jin Baisong, deputy director of the Department of Chinese Trade and Studies at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, a think tank of the Ministry of Commerce.

He said the lower tariffs will boost sales from consumer products such as milk powder and healthcare equipment.

"In the meantime, imports of high-tech equipment will facilitate the technical upgrade of domestic enterprises and pave the way for an economic transformation," he said.

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