China economy

China cuts import duties on more foreign goods; prices of bags and clothes set to fall

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 December, 2015, 6:19pm
UPDATED : Monday, 30 May, 2016, 5:09pm

China is to slash import duties on more consumer products such as suitcases and sunglasses from the beginning of next year to try to further expand domestic demand following a similar move earlier this year.

The Ministry of Finance said in a statement that tariffs imposed on foreign-made goods including suitcases, bags, clothing, scarves and blankets would be reduced.

READ MORE: China slashes tax on foreign goods to help boost slowing economy

The finance ministry cuts in duties were endorsed by the State Council and would become effective on January 1, according to the statement.

The measure was aimed at “giving domestic consumers more choice in shopping while helping the country expand domestic demand”, the finance ministry said.

A tariff cut is likely to eventually benefit shoppers as lower costs should ultimately be passed on to consumers.

The finance ministry announced in May that it would slash import duties on a clutch of items including leather shoes and skincare products.

Many more affluent mainlanders have been snapping up foreign-made products such as rice cookers, milk powder and nappies when travelling abroad or ordering them through online e-commerce platforms.

READ MORE: China’s tariff cuts for imported goods will have little effect: experts

The cuts in duty are seen as part of the government’s efforts to bolster the economy through stronger consumer spending, rather than relying on massive fixed-asset investment projects.

Premier Li Keqiang has also proposed an “Internet Plus strategy” to promote the wider use of the latest online and mobile phone technologies to boost online spending by shoppers.