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China Emphasizes Its Actions To Encourage Imports

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

11 November 2011

In the opinion of its Minister of Commerce Chen Deming, China has, since the outbreak of the international financial crisis, instituted policies so as to expand domestic demand and stimulate imports while stabilising exports, and has, thereby, become an important factor in promoting balanced global trade.

He noted that, between 2008 and 2010: “China’s imports soared by 23.3%, creating a trillion-dollar market for the rest of the world. At the same time, its trade surplus shrank from nearly USD300bn at its peak in 2008 to USD107.1bn as of the first three quarters of 2011, decreasing as a percentage of gross domestic product from 6.5% per cent to 2.2%.”

The growth in imports is, it was said, the result of policies introduced by the Chinese government that included the expansion of domestic demand and the greater liberalisation of trade and investment. For example, import licensing requirements have been phased out for more than 800 tariff lines, and customs duties have been abolished on goods from 95% of the world’s least-developed countries.

China is now the largest export market for Japan, South Korea, South-East Asia, Brazil and South Africa. It is the second-largest export market for the European Union, and the third largest for the US.

Chen predicted that, as China implements a more proactive strategy to open up its economy, its imports will exceed USD1.7 trillion this year, and amount to roughly USD10 trillion over the next five years, on a par with its exports.

However, he concluded: “It is a cause for concern that particular countries are disregarding China’s efforts to promote balanced global trade, and have been politicising economic issues, using protectionist trade and currency arrangements to bash China for political reasons.”

TAGS: tax | economics | fiscal policy | tariffs | China | import duty | currency | trade

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