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China to further open up economy, slash import tariffs and taxes: Premier Li

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China to further open up economy, slash import tariffs and taxes: Premier Li

China's Premier Li Keqiang said March 20 that the country will further open its economy, including the manufacturing sector, as he reiterated China does not want a trade war, media reports said.

"With China's economy so deeply integrated to the international economy, shutting the door would only block China's own way," said Li, who was newly reappointed for a second term at the closing session of the annual National People's Congress in Beijing.

He pledged to lower import tariffs and cut taxes, and added that in the process of opening manufacturing further, China won't force foreign companies to transfer technology to domestic ones and will protect intellectual property.

To widen market access, China also plans to merge three laws governing foreign investment, ease foreign-owned equity limits in some sectors, and adjust negative lists, Bloomberg News reported.

The premier said he was fully confident that China would achieve its 2018 economic targets. China aims to expand its economy by about 6.5% in 2018, the same target as in 2017.

Li stressed that there will be no winner from any trade war between China and the U.S., adding he hoped both sides could remain "calm." He said China does not hope to see a relatively big trade surplus with the U.S., as he urged the U.S. to ease restrictions on exports of high-tech goods to China, Reuters reported.

He added that Chinese regulators will take resolute measures to tackle financial risks, saying China's financial sector is in good shape and banks have enough provisions.

Mainland stocks were down, with the Shanghai Composite Index down 0.26% as of 12:18 a.m. ET. Ten-year Chinese bond yields were little changed at 3.83%, while the yuan was steady for a second day, Bloomberg reported.