(Yicai Global) July 11 -- China's cabinet the State Council gave off policy signals indicating it will stabilize foreign trade again at its weekly meeting yesterday.
The government will look at further decreasing import taxes' general level, the session emphasized.
Other measures to promote foreign trade proposed at the regular meeting include advancing export credit insurance, lowering insurance premiums and introducing coverage that serves businesses, promoting the development of new sectors such as cross-border e-commerce and bonded repair, cultivating import trade demonstration zones, reducing the time for custom clearances and lowering charges levied at borders.
The premier, vice premiers, state councilors and secretary-general of the state council who attend the regular meeting discuss and decide major issues of the State Council's work. One of the statutory meetings of the State Council, the convocation usually gathers once per week.
The session's tenor indicates the government's determination to promote imports and expanding opening-up, Cui Fan, a professor at the University of International Business and Economics, said in an interview with Yicai Global.
China's average tariffs stand at about 7.5 percent now, Cui said, adding further reductions of these imposts, especially for intermediate products, will lower the raw material costs of domestic downstream industries, improve consumer welfare and prompt Chinese residents to buy and consume more in China, rather than overseas.
However, repeated trade-off and bargaining are needed to determine in which areas tariffs should be first reduced, sources close to policymakers told Yicai Global. Imports of high and new technology products -- such as semiconductors -- and energy products will be encouraged as ever and import taxes will also fall on products important to people's daily lives, these sources said.
The process of tariff reduction will fully consider the appeals of affected domestic industries to cushion the adverse impact on employment, Cui added.
Editor: Tang Shihua