Import tariffs under review

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 31 October, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 31 October, 1996, 12:00am

China will continue to review its import tariff system and make adjustments to suit the country's economic and trading conditions, a senior official says.

A vice-minister of the State Economic and Trade Commission, Yu Xiaosong, said China would cut its import tariff rates if it was deemed necessary.

He said the State Economic and Trade Commission's taxation commission periodically review tariff rates.

He ruled out the kind of big tariff cuts that President Jiang Zemin announced during the Osaka Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit last November.

Mr Jiang then pledged to cut China's import tariffs by an average of 30 per cent on more than 4,000 items.

Mr Yu said: 'Last year's announcement made by the president was a very special case and I don't think we'll have another similar big tariff cut in the future.' Since then, China's premier Li Peng said in March this year that China would cut its import tariffs further in an attempt to win access to the World Trade Organisation.

Mr Yu said China would not become a tariff-free country: 'Most countries in the world, even developed Western countries, also have import tariffs. But we are still a developing country.

'We will review the tariff system, giving consideration to the level of economic development.

'We'll make tariff cuts once the taxation commission find that is necessary,' he said.

He said import tariffs on six items were cut from the beginning of last month, but it was unlikely there would be further significant cuts before April.


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