Tariffs reduced to spur consumption
Tariffs on imported consumer goods will be cut in areas of China by the end of June to fuel domestic consumption, stabilize economic growth and reduce the outflow of spending by Chinese tourists.
An executive meeting of the State Council, presided over by Premier Li Keqiang, decided to increase imports of overseas products favored by Chinese consumers to woo those whose shopping lists during overseas travel have expanded from luxury brands to daily consumer goods.
More duty-free stores will open at Chinese borders, with a higher purchasing cap for each individual tourist and more categories of products. Easier tax refund procedures will be promoted, accompanied by reinforced efforts in customs clearing checks to curb smuggling, the meeting decided.
Chinese tourists spend an average of about 12,000 yuan ($1,934) on tours and 7,000 yuan on shopping, according to the China National Tourism Administration. But more Chinese are willing to travel overseas, with shopping high on their agendas, driven by a stronger yuan, favorable visa policies and growing wealth.
A recent HSBC report shows that Chinese are buying about 40 percent of luxury goods sold in France and account for 35 percent of such sales in Italy and 25 percent in Britain. Their interest in daily consumer goods surged following the frenzied buying by Chinese of electronic toilet seats and rice cookers in Japan during the Spring Festival holiday. (Photo 5)