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New measures in place to boost foreign trade

By ZHONG NAN| China Daily| Updated: December 13, 2023 L M S


Livestreamers promote crystal accessories at a cross-border e-commerce industrial park in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province, on Saturday. ZHANG ZHENGYOU/FOR CHINA DAILY

Policies to offer companies more export options, risk reduction
The measures that China has undertaken to expedite the integrated development of local and foreign trade will enable more domestic market-oriented companies to sell their goods abroad and boost demand within the country, analysts and business executives said on Tuesday.

They said the new policies will offer competitive domestic market-oriented companies greater options to export and better participate in the international division of labor, as well as improve their ability to mitigate risks, especially while facing challenges such as softening overseas demand, geopolitical uncertainties and tough industrial transformation at home.

The State Council, or China's Cabinet, revealed a series of measures to speed up the integrated development of domestic and foreign trade on Monday, in order to simplify regulations and remove obstacles for businesses to access both domestic and foreign markets.

The 18 measures in five areas are designed to better align domestic and foreign trade rules and systems, including supervision, convergence of standards, and facilitation of smooth domestic and foreign trade resource flows.

For example, the government will strengthen fiscal and financial support for the integrated development of domestic and foreign trade, according to a circular released by the State Council.

Zhao Ping, dean of the academy at the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade in Beijing, said the new plan aims to tackle challenges arising from a changing global geoeconomic landscape, marked by weakening demand.

"These efforts will help to harmonize the standards, inspection, certification and supervision of domestic and foreign trade," Zhao said.

They will also guarantee that products for domestic consumption as well as exports come from the same lines, have the same standards and share the same quality, she added.

As China is making efforts to comply with international norms and standards and to create a better business environment, the latest move will attract more foreign products and services to its market, said Wang Wei, head of the Institute of Market Economy at the Development Research Center of the State Council.

Under the new policies, the government will support domestic market-oriented companies in exploring international markets through methods such as cross-border e-commerce and market procurement activities. It will drive the high-quality implementation of free trade agreements like the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership within both the Asia-Pacific region and the world, according to the circular.

Tianjin Qiande Food Co Ltd, a pickled foods producer that previously supplied products only to the domestic market, intends to increase its exports of pickled goods to other RCEP signatory countries next year. The company initiated its export business in late 2021.

"By utilizing the RCEP certificate of origin, our Japanese pickles experienced a 2 percent tariff reduction in Japan this year, with the tariff rate expected to decrease further in the coming years," said Liu Lina, the company's general manager.

Under RCEP rules, when determining the origin of goods, the free trade area can be regarded as a whole.

With positive factors continuing to take effect in the fourth quarter, China's foreign trade value reached 3.7 trillion yuan ($515.71 billion) in November, up 1.2 percent year-on-year, according to the General Administration of Customs.

For industries with relatively short industrial chains, such as the cutlery and plates sector, or those that have products with relatively unified standards globally, including smartphones and computer transformers, the difficulty of connecting to new market standards is relatively less for domestic market-oriented businesses, said Chen Bin, deputy director of the expert committee at the Beijing-based China Machinery Industry Federation.

However, for industries that have long industrial chains and large differences in product standards globally, such as automobiles, Chen said standards not only need to meet product quality requirements, but also match local culture and lifestyle habits.


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