BEIJING, Dec. 25 -- More measures will be taken to stimulate consumption and support foreign trade, according to Wednesday's executive meeting of China's State Council, or the cabinet.
A document released after the meeting, chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao, said to stimulate domestic consumption, efforts should be made to improve the rural circulation network, increase the variety of commodities available in rural markets, improve urban community service-facilities, promote upgrade of durable goods, support development of circulation companies, stimulate holiday consumption through exhibitions, and step up supervision over product quality and safety.
Details of some of the seven measures to boost domestic consumption are as follows:
-- On rural circulation network: Setting up more new stores and distribution centers and renovating existing stores in rural regions nationwide in the next two years.
-- On varieties of commodities and household appliances to countryside: Increasing subsidies to encourage farmers to buy more goods; ensuring the quality of household appliances sold with after-sales services.
-- On urban community service-facilities: Renovating and standardizing urban food markets nationwide to ensure convenient and safer consumption.
-- On durable goods upgrading: Setting up more second-hand markets in cities; encouraging manufacturers and retailers to conduct trade-in activities for urban consumers.
-- On circulation companies: Encouraging acquisition and merger by larger circulation companies to lower operating cost and cut commodity prices; supporting development of small and medium-sized commercial trade companies by helping them in financing.
In the fiscal year of 2009, the central government plans to increase its financial support for the development of the rural circulation network and the service industry.
The meeting adopted measures to relieve the difficulties of exporters and ensure a stable growth of foreign trade.
The government plans to raise export tax rebates for high-tech and high-value-added products. A central government fund for trade development will be increased.
The government will adjust the forbidden and limited commodity categories of processing trade. Standards on environment and technology will be eased. It will also encourage the transfer of processing trade from the eastern to the central and western regions.
To improve financing services for importers and exporters, policy banks will be encouraged to provide more export credits. Trade between Guangdong, the Yangtze River Delta and Hong Kong and Macao, and that between Guangxi, Yunnan and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will be settled in Renminbiyuan on a trial basis.
China will increase the imports of products that are needed in its market, particularly hi-tech products, critical equipment and elements, energy products and raw materials.
The government will encourage foreign investment in hi-tech industries, energy-saving and environmental protection industries, modern service industries and outsourcing of services.
Measures will be taken to facilitate trade, including 24-hour customs and inspection and quarantine services, exemption of inspection and quarantine fees for farm products exports, and lowering of inspection fees for textile exports.
The government also plans to strengthen bilateral trade relations, properly settle trade frictions and disputes concerning the quality and safety of export products. Exporters will be encouraged to explore the emerging markets.