China will further cut import tariffs for daily consumer goods starting July 1, the State Council, China’s Cabinet, decided at an executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday.
The average tariff rate for clothing, shoes and hats, kitchenware, and sports and fitness supplies will be reduced from 15.9 percent to 7.1 percent, and that for home appliances, such as washing machines and refrigerators, from 20.5 percent to 8 percent.
The average tariff rate for cultured and fished aquatic products and processed food such as mineral water will be cut from 15.2 percent to 6.9 percent, according to a statement released after the meeting.
The average tariff rate for detergents, cosmetics such as skincare and hair care products, and some medicine and health products will be cut from 8.4 percent to 2.9 percent.
The Cabinet called the tariff cuts a move conducive to expanding opening up, meeting the demands of the people and boosting quality and industrial upgrading.
China will roll out a series of measures to create a fairer, more transparent and easier investment environment for foreign-funded companies, including relaxing market access, enhancing investment facilitation, and better protecting legitimate interests of foreign investors, said the statement.
On Wednesday, the Cabinet also decided that China will roll out more foreign-investor-friendly measures and widen market access.
Commitments made to cancel or ease restrictions on foreign investment in such manufacturing sectors as automobiles, shipping vessels and aircraft will be promptly implemented.
The mechanism regarding qualified overseas investors will be expanded. This will encourage such investors to participate in futures trading of crude oil and iron ore and provide more support to foreign-invested financial institutions in underwriting local government bonds.
“We must strive to preserve China’s status as a major destination for foreign investment. Opening up has driven China’s reform endeavors in the past 40 years. Foreign-invested enterprises have been a significant contributor to Chinese exports. More importantly, they have brought to China industrial and value chains and spurred corporate reform and innovation,” Li said.
Foreign investment in China hit a new high of 877.56 billion yuan (US$136.7 billion) in 2017, up by 7.9 percent year-on-year, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
It was also decided at the meeting that investment facilitation will be enhanced based on international standards. The negative list in the market access of foreign investors will be revised and released before July 1.