Boost imports and exports
Updated: 2012-09-14 08:07
The latest of China's policies intended to make the country's slowing economy more stable targets trade and is meant to prevent mass unemployment, keep up the momentum of foreign trade and assist in the world's economic recovery.
The State Council said on Wednesday that the country is taking steps to ensure exporters more quickly receive tax rebates they are owed, to cut red tape to accelerate the process of clearing goods through customs and to encourage companies to move into markets outside developed economies.
And to bring balance to the country's trade, it will encourage imports, especially of machinery and technology.
The measures are good news to not only domestic businesses but also foreign ones that are eager to sell more to China.
Four years ago, when the world found itself in severe financial difficulties, about 20 million migrant workers in China lost their jobs.
Faced with a new round of such difficulties, China is taking a series of precautionary stimulus measures aimed at preventing the situation from worsening.
Given that the large unemployment numbers of four years ago were mostly seen in industries related to trade, the State Council's policies, which do not violate WTO rules, will help to ensure that jobs remain abundant.
China's economy expanded at a rate of 7.6 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, its slowest pace in more than three years. Its exports only increased by 2.7 percent year-on-year in August, falling short of market expectations.
Although China has been consistently working to make its economy more reliant on domestic demand, such a shift will not occur soon. Faced with declining growth and job losses, China is acting reasonably by first trying to make its foreign trade stable.
Policymakers, meanwhile, are conscious of the need for economic balance and are thus encouraging imports of machinery, technology, important components and necessities that can improve people's livelihoods.
Such measures can help bring balance to trade and, more importantly, help the corporate sector make needed technological upgrades.
In the end, they will not only aid the Chinese economy in a time of danger but give it strength for years to come.
(China Daily 09/14/2012 page8)