China will lower or remove import and export duties on a number of items starting 2019 as part of a tariff adjustment package announced Monday as the country further opens up the economy.
To expand imports, more than 700 items of products will be subjected to temporary import tariff rates starting Jan. 1, with the duties on the raw materials for some medicines removed, the Ministry of Finance said in an online statement.
Tariffs on some fur imports will be reduced while relatively low temporary import tariff rates will continue to be imposed on much-needed advanced equipment such as aircraft engines as well as resource products such as natural feeds, the ministry said.
Export tariffs on products including chemical fertilizers and iron ore will be scrapped, it said.
China will also apply conventional tariffs on products from 23 countries and regions, including further reduction in tariffs under free trade pacts between China and relevant countries, the ministry said. This will result in lower tariffs with trade partners including New Zealand, Peru, Costa Rica, among others.
The move aims to support the Belt and Road Initiative and the development of free trade areas, speed up China's economic and trade cooperation with relevant countries, and create a favorable external condition for the healthy and stable development of the economy in the long term, the ministry said.
Imported goods from China's Hong Kong and Macao into the Chinese mainland will enjoy zero tariffs under relevant pacts on goods trade.
The preferential tariff rates with Bangladesh and Laos under the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement will be adjusted along with a reduction in the most-favored-nation (MFN) tariff rates.
China will also reduce the MFN rates for 298 items of information technology products from July 1, 2019, the ministry said.
In a bid to open its economy wider to the world, China lowered tariffs on an array of products from medicines to vehicles in 2018, with the general duty level down from 9.8 percent to 7.5 percent.