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China to expedite reforms to boost economy
Nov '15
China will expedite reforms to remove internal barriers to both foreign and domestic trade to boost domestic consumption in a slowing economy, the Cabinet has said, according to a leading Chinese daily.

Beijing is looking to give both international and domestic investors increased access to the world’s second-largest economy in a bid to promote consumption and has pledged to boost the development of the retail, health, travel and sports sectors.

The statement follows the ruling Communist Party’s October plenum, which outlined the state’s broad strategic objectives for the next five years.

The State Council, or the Cabinet, said it was seeking to “eliminate all kinds of conspicuous and hidden administrative monopolies” and “strengthen anti-monopoly laws” in an attempt to remove “protectionist” policies between various provinces.

While weakening China trade comes on the back of falling commodity prices and softening global growth, analysts are also pointing a finger at provincial protectionist import substitution policies for artificially suppressing Chinese demand for foreign products.

The government also said in its statement that it would accelerate reform of the country’s residence registration, or hukou system, to unleash the spending potential of China’s rural population.

Rural residents will be supported to buy their own homes and small and medium-sized cities will be encouraged to implement tailored policies that are favourable to them.

The government also pledged to improve Internet infrastructure and e-commerce logistics of the “last mile” — the final portion of a package’s journey from a retailer’s warehouse or store to a customer’s door.

It also said it would expand the scope of the 72-hour transit visa, improve tax rebates for tourists and attract international consumers by hosting shopping festivals, film festivals, fashion weeks and book fairs.

The country’s three anti-monopoly regulators — the Ministry of Commerce, the National Development and Reform Commission, and the State administration for Industry and Commerce — said in September that they would be widening market access for foreign firms. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

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