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China plans imports expansion to support consumers, balanced trade

China plans to encourage the growth of imports to satisfy increasingly diversified consumer demand and upgrade domestic industries, the State Council announced at an executive meeting, Xinhuanet reported.

The council decided that it would promote imports of producer services covering research and design, consulting, energy conservation and environmental protection and technological facilities, along with daily consumer goods and medicine, as part of the strategy.

China also intends to trim import taxes on certain goods and ease policies on duty-free shops with the introduction of more products.

In addition, the council highlighted the need for enhanced intellectual property rights protection along with a credit information system to ensure foreign investment occurs alongside trade.

"Expanding imports is crucial for upholding free trade," said Premier Li Keqiang, who chaired the council meeting. "Priority should be given to meeting needs of everyday life and boosting trade in services. Our deficit in services trade may be turned into a catalyst for the upgrading of the services sector."

China's trade in goods climbed by 9.4% to 6.75 trillion yuan, while the trade surplus declined by 21.8%, Xinhuanet said, citing April statistics from the General Administration of Customs.

As of June 12, US$1 was equivalent to 6.40 Chinese yuan.