The State Council, China’s cabinet, urged its departments and local authorities to intensify efforts to stabilize exports and imports, which both declined in the first seven months of the year.
These efforts include beefing up implementation of current policies and measures to boost foreign trade, according to a statement released after a State Council executive meeting presided over by Premier Li Keqiang on Aug 16.
According to the statement, trade facilitation measures adopted by the country’s free trade zones should be duplicated and used in other regions, standards at different customs areas must be unified, and examination procedures should be simplified.
Local authorities must streamline management fees at ports and for shipping businesses, it said.
Rolling out trade facilitation measures adopted in free trade zones in Shanghai, Guangdong, Tianjin and Fujian will improve the policy environment for trade development and lower transaction costs, said Sang Baichuan, a professor at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing.
Sang said streamlining those fees is an important move for creating a better business environment as it reduces logistics costs of trade companies.
Policies will be further adjusted to facilitate new types of trade, such as cross-border e-commerce. The role of bilateral investment will be further encouraged to boost foreign trade, by promoting the country’s Belt and Road Initiative and international cooperation on capacity, the statement said.
Equipped with big data systems, many Chinese companies’ products and supply chain systems have already experienced dramatic changes. Many companies have begun to adjust their supply chain networks for different products based on big data about demand in foreign markets, said Zhao Ying, a researcher at the Institute of Industrial Economics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.