Shanghai keen to boost imports

Ke Jiayun
Shanghai is keen to import more high-tech equipment and consumer products as it strives to improve its financing and trading infrastructure.
Ke Jiayun

Shanghai is keen to import more high-tech equipment and consumer products as it strives to improve its financing and trading infrastructure amid new rounds of reforms and opening-up in the country.

Authorities said they will also support the import of livelihood-related products such as daily consumer goods, medicines and elderly care facilities.

“Technology can help in upgrading industries and support supply-side structural reform,” said Shen Weihua, deputy director of the Shanghai Commerce Commission.

“Imported products can help in meeting the local demand for high-quality consumer goods, medicines, health care products, cosmetics and food,” he said.

Shen said Shanghai will lower tariffs on such products and support the companies that import them, even going as far as to help them find good foreign suppliers.

“We will work with the governments in the Yangtze River Delta and social service institutions to ensure that the goods quickly reach the retail channels.”

Shanghai’s imports rose to more than 1.7 trillion yuan (US$250 billion) in the first half of this year, up 9.7 percent from the same period of last year, figures released by the commission showed.

The imports grew at a faster-than-expected pace last year — a six-year high. In the first half of 2018, Shanghai’s import volume was as much a 26.5 percent of the nation’s.

With the China International Import Expo in November, Shanghai will optimize the imported commodities and market layout, set up professional import trade service platforms and ensure high efficiency and convenience for trading.

“We will build world-class facilities here, starting from ports. We will promote and expand the intelligent logistics, smart functions and automation at Yangshan Deep-Water Port for swift transit and transfer of containers to all corners of China and the world,” Shen said.

The “single-window” function will be improved and extended nationwide. All administrative examination and approval, certificate application and clearance services of vessels will be completed through a single-window system.

Shen said better financial products and services should be made available to the importers, and more domestic trading companies and manufacturers should be included into the city’s supply chain.

There are also plans to set up a hub for specialty products such as medicines like anti-tumor drugs, and medical equipment, he said.

Shanghai will encourage transnational corporations to set up sales centers and trade headquarters in the city. The imports of auto parts and cars will also be accelerated.

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