China's imports in 2018 are expected to exceed new highs of $2 trillion, and the nation will host the second China International Import Expo (CIIE) which will further boost import and consumption in 2019, said a senior Chinese trade official on Saturday.
Song Xianmao, a senior official with China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), said at a national commerce conference held in Beijing that efforts will be made to improve the quality of foreign trade development and accelerate the building of a strong trade power.
China has reduced import tariffs on a number of products including drugs, automobiles, and daily necessities. The total tariff level has dropped from 9.8 percent to 7.5 percent. In addition, the holding of the CIIE has also promoted the expansion of imports.
According to the data of the General Administration of Customs (GAC), in the first 11 months of this year, China's imports increased by 14.6 percent, accounting for 60.8 percent of total imports and exports growth, which became an important driving force for the growth of foreign trade in 2018. In general, China's foreign trade exceeded expectations in 2018. In the first 11 months, foreign trade exceeded the value for the whole year of 2017.
In order to further expand imports, Song Xianmao said that in 2019, MOFCOM will carefully prepare for the second CIIE to create more import opportunities for domestic enterprises. China will continue to optimize the structure of imports, expand the import of advanced technologies and key components, and increase agricultural products and resources imports to ensure market supply.
China will continue to increase imports of consumer goods such as daily consumer goods, senior citizens' rehabilitation care and other products. China will promote the imports of services such as architectural design, trade logistics, research and development design, energy conservation and environmental protection, and improve industrial competitiveness.
MOFCOM will further promote the reduction of the overall level of import tariffs, improve the facilitation of customs clearance, and further improve the parallel import policy of automobiles.