China delivers on promise to expand imports


China fulfilled its commitment to increase imports in 2019 amid rising tides of protectionism, boosting domestic economic expansion and offering a beacon of hope for multinationals that had suffered from low profit growth in other parts of the world. China has been shifting from an investment-driven model to a more domestic consumption-powered economy over the years. Consumption continued to play an increasingly important role in driving economic growth, contributing 60.5 percent of GDP growth in the first nine months of 2019. “Expanding imports will be conducive to fostering new growth areas in consumer spending, and accelerating the transformation of the country’s economic development model,” said Zhang Fei, deputy director of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation. In a bid to further mee booming domestic demand, the country lowered or canceled import duties on certain products from Jan. 1, 2020. The import tax on frozen pork, for instance, was cut from 12 percent to 8 percent in a bid to increase domestic supplies. The country eliminated the tariff on pharmaceutical products containing alkaloids for asthma treatment as well as raw materials for the production of new diabetes medicines to reduce medication costs and promote the production of new medicines. China also slashed the duties on imported fruits and juice to offer more choices for consumers.—Xinhua