China to boost economic rebound, stabilize foreign trade, investment
China will consolidate and expand the momentum of its economic rebound, accelerate consumption recovery and stabilize foreign trade and investment, according to the decisions made at the State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Saturday.
Noting the continuing trend of economic recovery and rebound, the meeting stressed the need to implement the decisions of the Central Economic Work Conference and focus on ensuring stability in growth, employment and prices, to keep the economic performance within a proper range.
Solid steps will be taken to ensure the effective implementation of the policy package for stabilizing the economy and its follow-up measures. Key projects and equipment upgrading and renovation supported by fiscal and financial policy tools will be advanced to generate more physical gains.
Policies to extend the duration of VAT relief for small-scale taxpayers and inclusive loans granted to micro and small businesses will be effectively implemented.
The meeting underscored the need to facilitate a speedy reopening of businesses and production after the Spring Festival and to provide good services for migrant workers in returning to their work or landing new jobs.
"We need to step up efforts to deliver on the policies for expanding consumption," Li said.
Noting the pressing challenge of lackluster demand, the meeting urged timely measures to promote an early recovery of consumption as the main economic driving force, steadfastly advance opening-up, and stabilize and upgrade foreign trade and investment.
Consumption will be further boosted. Policies for supporting consumer service businesses and self-employed individuals and promoting the consumption of cars and other big-ticket items will be fully implemented. Various activities will be launched to stimulate consumption and facilitate the early recovery of contact-based service industries.
Consumer loans will be increased as appropriate. The policy toolkit will be harnessed, following a city-specific approach, to meet people's basic housing needs and the need for improved housing conditions and ensure the delivery of pre-sold homes.
"Boosting consumption is a key step to expand domestic demand. We need to restore the structural role of consumption in the economy," Li said. "The greatest potential of the Chinese economy lies in the consumption by the 1.4 billion people."
Policies concerning export rebates, credit loans and credit insurance, among others, will be earnestly implemented, and the RMB exchange rate will be kept generally stable at an adaptive, balanced level. Enterprises will be supported to further explore market opportunities by making full use of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
The development of cross-border e-commerce and overseas warehouses will be further promoted. Foreign trade competitiveness will be enhanced, and imports will be expanded as appropriate.
Active efforts will be made to attract foreign investment. The new Catalogue of Encouraged Industries for Foreign Investment will be put into effect at a faster pace. Local governments will be supported in attracting businesses and investment. The role of pilot free trade zones and other platforms will be better leveraged.
Facilitative measures on cross-border travel will be earnestly implemented. Sustained efforts will be made to improve services for foreign-invested enterprises and promote the earlier delivery of major projects.
"We must fully leverage our competitive advantages, improve our business environment and stabilize foreign trade and investment by opening wider to the world. Opening up is in China's fundamental interests," Li said.
(Cover: A container terminal in Lianyungang, China's Jiangsu Province. /CFP)