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Import tariff cuts benefit firms and boost consumption

By Zhao Shiyue | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-01-07 18:34

Shelves of imported goods at a supermarket in Beijing. [Photo/Screenshot from CCTV news]

China lowered imported tariffs more than the most-favored-nation tariffs on over 850 goods from Jan 1, which brings benefits to companies and boosts the consumption of imported goods during Chinese New Year, said China Central Television news.

China adjusted imported tariffs from Jan 1 to promote high-quality development of trade, according to the statement of the Ministry of Finance. The number of items rose by over 20 percent compared with 706 products that were taxed at temporary rates in 2019.

For products including frozen fruits, nuts and orange juice, rates were cut more than 50 percent, according to the tariff item list from the Ministry of Finance.

Dai Jun, sales manager at Ningbo Lituo Export Trading Co Ltd, said since the tariff rate for orange juice fell from 30 percent to 15 percent, his company plans to import more juice than last year.

The tariffs on imported seafood such as lobster, frozen crab and tuna were also reduced this year.

Gao Hongtao, CEO of Beijing Huayi International Logistic Co Ltd, said thanks to the tariff reduction, the price of black crab imported from Pakistan has dropped to 4-5 yuan per 500 grams, so he's able to save nearly 30,000 yuan on costs every day.

Tariff reductions will effectively expand imports, with a focus on advanced technology and equipment, important raw materials and key spare parts, bringing greater opportunities and benefits for high-tech industries.

At Urumqi Diwopu International Airport Customs, the director of the general service center Yu Ke said the original tariff rate for aircraft materials used to be 8 percent, but now it's 4 percent.

Importers had to pay around 70,000 yuan in tariffs on spare parts, but now the tariff has fallen to just 30,000 yuan, according to Zhu Jianjun, the customs manager in China Southern Airlines (Group) Xinjiang Import & Export Trading Co Ltd.

As tariff reductions have accelerated, the domestic consumption structure has been undergoing fundamental changes.

Imported goods have become cheaper than before, diversifying people's consumption choices during Chinese New Year.

At a supermarket in Beijing, the shelves of imported goods doubled from 40 to 80 in recent two years.

Tariff adjustment and the simplification of customs procedures have made it easier for traders to do business. This marks the fourth consecutive year for China to adjust the import tariff at the beginning of the new year, and China has lowered the import tariff over 10 times in the recent three years.

According to statistics, China now imports products from more than 187 countries and regions all around the world. As of Nov 11, 2019, China's imports from South Korea and the European Union exceeded 1 trillion yuan, those from Australia and United States exceeded 700 billion yuan, while imports from Brazil and Germany exceeded 500 billion yuan.

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