Tariff cut on IT products to push China’s industrial innovation

BEIJING (Xinhua) — China’s decision to cut tariffs on a wide range of technology products would help push the country’s industrial innovation, analysts pointed out.

On September 22, 2016, China, the world’s largest IT products exporter, started cutting import duties on 201 IT products covered by the Information Technology Agreement (ITA), a global technology trade pact under the World Trade Organization (WTO), according to the Ministry of Finance.

The products include integrated circuits, touch screens, semiconductors and medical devices. The government also promised to reduce tariffs to zero on these products within seven years.

In 2015, over 50 countries, including China, reached an agreement at a WTO meeting in Nairobi, Kenya to begin implementing their tariff commitments to the ITA by July 1, 2016, while the timetable is subject to the completion of each country’s domestic procedural requirements.

China’s legislature passed a bill in September 2016 to ratify an amendment to the ITA.

“The ratification and implementation of the amendment will be in the interests of China’s drive to build an open economic system and to accelerate the development of domestic IT industry amid international competition and cooperation,” said the National People’s Congress Foreign Affairs Committee in a review report to the lawmakers.

The move meant that China would play a bigger role in participating in global resources relocation and move higher in the global industrial value chain thanks to lower import costs, according to Bai Ming, a researcher with the think tank of the Ministry of Commerce.

Global trade of the 201 IT products is valued at US$1.3 trillion, which is approximately 10% of total world trade. China’s foreign trade volume of the goods is approximately one-quarter of the amount, according to Lou Jiwei, head of the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council. For more information, click on the following link: http://en.people.cn/n3/2016/0917/c90000-9115739.html.

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