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Accelerated opening-up to benefit Chinese market

(Xinhua)    17:16, May 09, 2018

China’s accelerating reform and opening up will not only bring benefits to its domestic market, but also to the world.

The country is rolling out measures to increase its imports, as part of an effort to further open up the country’s domestic market.

By the end of April, nearly 1,100 applicants, including Qualcomm Inc, Bosch and Tesla, had already signed contracts for the China International Import Expo (CIIE) to be held in Shanghai this November.

Moreover, import tariffs on all common drugs including cancer drugs, cancer alkaloid-based drugs and imported traditional Chinese medicine is exempt from May 1. The country is also working on reducing tariffs for imported cars.

An increase of imports is sure to have an effect on Chinese domestic consumer goods. However, in the long run, the policy will help to promote industrial transformation and an upgrade of consumption, said Zhao Ping, director at the International Trade Research Department under China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.

Taking the household appliances industry as an example, China’s first color television, produced in 1970, was inferior to imported ones in terms of quality and performance.

However, driven by imported products, the household appliance industry in China has seen a rapid development in recent years, so much so that it has now become a big manufacturer and main supplier of global household appliances.

In addition, competition with imported goods in the market stimulates innovation of domestic enterprises.

For example, China’s car industry shows vitality by introducing advanced foreign products and technologies. The country’s automobile manufacturer BYD now sells its vehicles to global markets including Europe, the U.S., Japan and South Korea.

Also, an increase of imports will better meet people’s growing demand to live a better life while reducing the outflow of spending by Chinese tourists, Zhao noted.

Statistics issued by the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) indicate that Chinese tourists spent about $200 billion on shopping overseas last year, their shopping list expanding from luxury brands to daily consumer goods.

Currently, the price of imported consumer goods is substantially higher than their price abroad, especially high-end consumer goods such as watches, suitcases, clothes, wine, and electronic products.

Zhao disclosed that although tariffs are not the sole reason for the price difference, the policy of reducing tariffs could lower prices of imported products, which would help to reduce the outflow of spending.

Huang Zhilong, macro-economy research chief at the Suning Institute of Finance noted that an increase to China’s imports would not only better meet its domestic demand, but also bring benefits to the rest of the world.

Huang added that in this way, China, as the world’s second largest economy with huge consumer market potential, will also promote other countries’ export and create more job opportunities for them.

MOFCOM data shows that up to now, China has signed 15 free trade agreements with 23 countries and regions, involving over 8,000 types of imported products with zero tariffs. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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