Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – China will lower import taxes on some foreign, high-end consumer goods to bolster domestic demand and prop up a faltering economy.
The Finance Ministry announced today as of 1 June, it would lower import taxes on average by 50 per cent to satisfy strong consumer demand for certain imported products.
Companies that stand to benefit from lower import duties include US sports shoe firm Nike and cosmetics company L’Oreal, whose products are usually out of reach of the average Chinese consumer.
The decision follows a statement by China’s State Council, the country’s Cabinet, in April that it would look to reduce import tariffs on some consumer goods to stoke domestic spending.
“Expanding domestic consumer demand is an important step in creating stable growth and promoting structural reform,” the Finance Ministry said in a statement.
Chinese consumers – those who can afford it – have become an important factor in shaping demand as more of them take trips abroad.
By some estimates, the per capita spending of Chinese tourists in Europe or the United States hovers around US$ 7,500 per stay.
Once at home, they often often grumble about paying higher prices for goods than in other markets cost about 20 per cent more less, partly due to steep import taxes.
“These products are being bought in large quantities by Chinese consumers overseas and consumers have a strong desire to buy them, so lowering import taxes should have the benefit of increasing imports reasonably and help upgrade domestic consumption,” the Ministry said in its statement.