With the continuous growth of imports and exports and the continued expansion of the trade surplus, China has begun to change its long-standing foreign trade policy of “encouraging exports” to promote the sustainable development of the domestic economy.
Assistant Minister of Commerce Fu Ziying said at a recent economic situation report meeting that foreign trade policies will be fine-tuned, but they will not go backwards to avoid damaging the enthusiasm for using foreign capital and developing foreign trade.
The official pointed out that the formulation of foreign trade policies must focus on the development needs of the domestic economy. He said: "Take the export tax rate policy as an example. The export tax rebate for high energy consumption, high pollution, and resource products should be stopped. Now the export of agricultural products is difficult. I think it can be increased to increase farmers' income."
Zhao Jinping, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Economic Affairs of the Development Research Center of the State Council, said: “The imbalance in China’s foreign trade is mainly a problem of growth mode. Imports are restricted, so that the trade surplus has developed into a major factor affecting the balance of payments in recent years."
It is worth noting that although the Chinese government has included the goal of achieving a balance of foreign trade in the "Eleventh Five-Year Plan", affected by the transfer of global industries to developing countries and strong international market demand, relevant scholars and officials have expressed that it is difficult to find effective To quickly curb the continued expansion of the foreign trade surplus. It is generally regarded as a more feasible way to steadily adjust policies, stimulate imports, and optimize the export structure through "small steps".
Since 2005, China has tried to limit the export of energy-intensive, highly polluting and resource-based products by increasing export taxes and reducing export tax rebates. According to a survey conducted by the Development Research Center of the State Council, from the fourth quarter of last year and the first four months of this year, the export volume of coal, electrolytic aluminum, leather and other products fell by more than 10%. Some commodities with a relatively large international market share, such as yellow phosphorus, have their selling prices increased after the export volume has declined.
In order to increase the technical content and added value of export products, the Ministry of Commerce has decided to set up a foreign trade development fund this year to give enterprises more support in scientific research and development and independent innovation.
Foreign trade expert Zhang Xiaoji pointed out that to solve the problem of trade imbalance, China must not only rely on foreign trade policies, but must also use domestic policies to reverse the price distortions of production factors and low resource utilization.
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