HONG KONG — China plans to reduce tariffs on a number of consumer goods and expand its 72-hour transit visa plan to more cities in an effort to stimulate domestic consumption, Beijing said on Tuesday.
The announcement of import tax reductions follows changes in June, when the government cut the tariffs on clothing, cosmetics and various other goods by half.
The guideline, issued by the State Council, did not elaborate on what types of goods would be affected, but it’s part of a top-down effort from the government to shift the country to a consumer culture.
“Boosting consumption is conducive to economic restructuring and sustainable growth,” the guideline stated.
Among the changes — easier tax refunds for overseas shoppers and accelerated openings of more duty-free shops in cities covered by the 72-hour visa scheme, state media Xinhua said.
The 72-hour visa was introduced in Beijing and Shanghai in January 2013 and has been extended to 18 Chinese cities.
Last month, the country’s leaders met at the Fifth Plenum, vowing to make consumption a bigger contributor to the economic growth for the coming five years.
Consumption as a share of gross domestic product in China has fallen for six decades, from 76 percent in 1952 to 28 percent in 2011, according to a report released last week by The Demand Institute. In contrast, consumption makes up 76 percent of GDP in the U.S. and 52 percent in India.