Expo to heighten ef­fect of cuts in tar­iffs on im­ported goods

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - 13 Business - By ZHU WENQIAN zhuwen­qian@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The six-day China In­ter­na­tional Im­port Expo, which be­gins in Shang­hai on Mon­day, is ex­pected to even­tu­ally in­crease the num­ber of high­qual­ity con­sumer prod­ucts and re­lated ser­vices com­ing into the coun­try, thereby meet­ing the ris­ing de­mand among Chi­nese con­sumers for such goods, ex­perts said.

“There’s still a great po­ten­tial for the growth of do­mes­tic con­sump­tion de­mand,” said Chen Lifen, a re­searcher at the Cir­cu­la­tion In­dus­try Pro­mo­tion Cen­ter un­der the Min­istry of Com­merce.

The first im­port expo marks yet an­other mile­stone in China’s pol­icy evo­lu­tion that has been in­creas­ing the pur­chas­ing power of Chi­nese con­sumers, giv­ing them ac­cess to top prod­ucts and re­lated ser­vices.

To­gether with the July 1 move to lower im­port tar­iffs on cer­tain con­sumer goods, the CIIE is ex­pected to help deepen the on­go­ing con­sump­tion up­grade in the last quar­ter of this year.

On July 1, the gov­ern­ment slashed im­port tar­iffs on con­sumer goods, the fifth such cut since join­ing the World Trade Or­ga­ni­za­tion in 2001.

The lat­est cut ben­e­fited 1,449 items, or more than 70 per­cent of the con­sumer goods im­ported, whose trad­ing vol­ume was worth $38 bil­lion a year.

The goods in­cluded cloth­ing, shoes, kitchen­ware and sports fit­ness prod­ucts. Im­port tar­iffs on them were low­ered from 15.9 per­cent to 7.1 per­cent.

The tar­iff on home ap­pli­ances like wash­ing ma­chines and re­frig­er­a­tors was low­ered from 20.5 per­cent to 8 per­cent.

Sim­i­larly, the tar­iffs on pro­cessed foods were cut to 6.9 per­cent from 15.7 per­cent, and the tar­iffs on cos­met­ics and some med­i­cal and health prod­ucts were re­duced to 2.9 per­cent from 8.4 per­cent. And the tar­iffs on anti-can­cer drugs were can­celed al­to­gether.

The pos­i­tive ef­fects of these cuts and the CIIE will be­gin to man­i­fest from the last quar­ter of this year, ex­perts said.

“The low­er­ing of tar­iffs will help lower the prices of con­sumer prod­ucts to some ex­tent,” said Liang Ji, a re­searcher with the Chi­nese Academy of Fis­cal Sciences.

“It’ll have an im­pact on the daily life of Chi­nese con­sumers. It will help guide con­sump­tion re­flux, re­vi­tal­ize the do­mes­tic con­sump­tion mar­ket and drive eco­nomic growth. It is also ex­pected to force China to in­crease the qual­ity of do­mes­ti­cally made prod­ucts.”

Last year, cross-border e-com­merce trans­ac­tions in China reached 6.3 tril­lion yuan ($914 bil­lion), an in­crease of 23.5 per­cent year-on-year, in­di­cat­ing a huge de­mand among Chi­nese con­sumers for high­qual­ity daily ne­ces­si­ties, ac­cord­ing to data pro­vided by iiMe­dia Re­search, a mar­ket con­sul­tancy.

Dur­ing the Na­tional Day hol­i­day break in early Oc­to­ber, re­tail and food ser­vice sales in China reached 1.4 tril­lion yuan, and the av­er­age daily re­tail and cater­ing sales ex­panded by 9.5 per­cent yearon-year dur­ing the pe­riod, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment of the Min­istry of Com­merce.

Par­tic­u­larly, sales of or­ganic food, smart­phones, house­hold prod­ucts like smart water pu­ri­fiers and smart toi­let lids, have seen fast growth, con­firm­ing con­sumers’ new­found love for high-qual­ity prod­ucts that dou­ble up as state­ments of evolv­ing tastes.

“But the prices will ul­ti­mately de­pend on sup­ply and de­mand in the do­mes­tic mar­ket,” said Liang of the CAFS.

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