Bloomberg: When visiting some trading companies in Guangzhou, Premier Wen Jiabao said export and import policies will maintain overall stability. Should there be any change, it will be more of a support than restraint. Given lackluster demand from the United States and Europe, what measures will be taken by the Chinese government to keep stable growth in export?
Chen Deming: China’s foreign trade growth has slowed down . Export in January this year cannot make us optimistic and is expected to have negative growth year-on-year due to Chinese New Year and other factors. Chinese trading companies, particularly small and micro businesses, have come under growing pressure. Foreign trade, an integral part of the Chinese economy, is essential to people’s life and jobs. Premier Wen Jiabao has said on various occasions that the government will adopt measures to help businesses overcome difficulties in order to maintain stable growth in foreign trade.
First, we will keep the overall stability of our export and import policies. For example, we will keep export rebate policy basically stable and speed up its implementation. We will maintain the overall stability of RMB exchange rate and relevant policies of processing trade. Should there be any fine-tuning, it will be supportive rather than discouraging.
Second, we will take concrete measures to ease the tax burden on trading companies and give more financial support. For example, we will speed up the pilot program for replacing business tax with VAT for small and micro businesses and improve structural tax reduction policy. We will introduce a creditworthiness assessment and rewarding system on small businesses and encourage qualified commercial banks to give more credit to small and micro businesses. We support small and micro businesses in raising funds through the stock market and give more support to export insurance.
Third, we will intensify trade promotion. We will step up efforts in building business platforms such as e-commerce, professional markets, demonstration centers at home and broad, and marketing networks etc. we will vigorously carry out trade and investment promotion events, such as Canton Fair, China International Fair for Investment and Trade in Xiamen, Expo Central China, and China-Eurasia Expo etc.
While taking measures to stabilize exports, the Chinese government will continue to energetically expand imports and further balance foreign trade. For example, we will do more in removing unreasonable restrictions in imports, promote import facilitation, and formulate financial policies to encourage and support imports.