China unveiled on Thursday a guideline to promote high-quality development of trade with a key focus on forging a stable and better-structured trade development as part of the country’s ongoing efforts to implement the deep transformation and upgrading of the economy.
The new guideline, jointly issued by the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council, requires establishing an evaluation system for high-quality trade development in terms of indicators, policies, statistics and performance by 2022, aiming for significant improvement in trade structure and efficiency.
Under the guideline, China will take a series of key measures to encourage new advantages in trade competition, improve trade structures, foster new businesses, create a better trade environment and deepen reform and opening-up.
Bai Ming, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, said China has long been devoted to boosting the high-quality development of trade, and the new guideline will help achieve that goal.
The new document says China will continue to urge relevant countries to relax export controls on China. While conforming to the rules of the World Trade Organization, China will leverage the role of fiscal funds in promoting trade development. Combining value-added tax reform and legislation, the country will gradually improve the export tax rebate mechanism.
Measures also include encouraging financial institutions to offer diversified and integrated financial services, strengthening risk prevention in trade, accelerating the construction of export control systems, improving the foreign trade investigation system, deepening trade cooperation with countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative and expanding imports.
Ma Yeqing, a professor of international trade at Nanjing University, said expanding imports can help make up for the shortage of some resources for production and lower the prices of certain products in the domestic market while improving their quality. The industrial structure can also be upgraded and downstream production costs be reduced, he said.
In addition, boosting imports will enrich domestic supplies and improve the living standards of Chinese consumers, Ma added.
The Ministry of Commerce has said China has achieved high-quality development in foreign trade, despite current challenges. The scale of foreign trade has made steady growth. In the first 10 months of the year, China’s import and export volume totaled 25.63 trillion yuan ($3.64 trillion), up 2.4 percent year-on-year.
Bai, the researcher, said a holistic approach is needed to address certain issues about China’s trade development, such as low added value of products. “The key reason behind it is the industry’s lack of international competitiveness, followed by a lack of sufficient recognition of brands,” he said. The building of international marketing systems, as mentioned in the guideline, is an effective solution to the problem so that Chinese companies can move up the value chain, he said.