China rolls out consumption-boosting measures

Updated: 2015-11-23 17:22


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China rolls out consumption-boosting measures

COCCINELLE, an Italian leatherwear and shoe manufacturer, at the world's largest duty-free shopping center in Sanya city, South China's Hainan province, Sept 27, 2014. [Photo/IC]

BEIJING - China will increase imports, make it easier for overseas shoppers to get tax refunds and allow foreigners to visit more of the country for 72 hours without visas, the central government said on Monday.

Outlining a number of measures aimed at encouraging consumption and stabilizing the struggling economy, the government said China will start to import more advanced equipment and daily consumer goods.

It promised to support the development of "emerging industries with strategic importance," a category including energy conservation and environmental protection, next-generation information technology, and new energy vehicles.

The announcement also specified 3D printing, robotics, gene engineering, wearable devices, smart home appliances, and digital media as targets for development.

Related news: More shops join tax refund scheme for visitors

Overseas visitors now can claim tax refunds from 32 retail shops in Silk Street, making up 20 percent of all stores participating in the VAT-refund scheme in Beijing.

"Giving full play to our advantage of promoting 'Made in China' products, the tax rebate policy will bolster consumption for sure," said Zhang Yongping, CEO of Silk Street, adding that more retailers will join in future.

Following national policy introduced by the State Council in June, overseas buyers and those from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan who have lived in the mainland for no more than 183 days, are eligible to claim refunds.

The minimum amount of purchase should be no less than 500 yuan a day, 300 yuan lower than the standard set in Hainan province, a pilot area that introduced the policy in 2011.

"It is sure to benefit more foreign customers visiting and working in China, including us," laughed ambassador of Costa Rica Ricardo León, who with his wife bought a Suzhou embroidery handbag.

For stores eligible for tax refunds in Silk Street, this policy means more strict regulations and higher operational costs, according to retailers.

"We understand how customers are looking for good deals in Silk Street in the past, and we don't have employees in charge of tax service," said Jin Wenbiao, a representative of tax-free retailers. "But we felt that it is a good chance to improve our service and get ourselves ready to welcome more customers in our one stop shopping destinations".

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