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Tariff cut on IT products to push China industrial innovation

China's decision to cut tariffs on a wide range of technology products would help push the largest IT exporter's industrial innovation, official media here said.

By: | Beijing | Published: September 17, 2016 6:07 PM
The products include integrated circuits, touch screens, semiconductors and medical devices.  (Reuters) The products include integrated circuits, touch screens, semiconductors and medical devices. (Reuters)

China’s decision to cut tariffs on a wide range of technology products would help push the largest IT exporter’s industrial innovation, official media here said.

China would cut import duties on 201 products covered by Information Technology Agreement (ITA), a global technology trade pact under the World Trade Organisation (WTO), state-run Xinhua news agency quoted the Ministry of Finance as saying.

The products include integrated circuits, touch screens, semiconductors and medical devices. The government promised to reduce tariffs to zero on these products within seven years.

More than 50 countries, including China, reached an agreement last year at a WTO meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, to begin implementing their tariff commitments to the ITA by July 1, 2016, while the timetable is subject to the completion of each country’s domestic procedural requirements.

China’s legislature passed a bill earlier this month to ratify an amendment to the ITA.

“The ratification and implementation of the amendment will be in the interests of China’s drive to build an open economic system and to accelerate the development of domestic IT industry amid international competition and cooperation,” said the National People’s Congress Foreign Affairs Committee in a review report to the lawmakers.

The move meant that China would play a bigger role in participating in global resources relocation and move upper in the global industrial value chain thanks to lower import costs, according to Bai Ming, a researcher with the thinktank.

Global trade of the 201 IT products is valued at $1.3 trillion, about 10 per cent of total world trade.

China’s foreign trade volume of the goods is about a quarter of the amount, said Lou Jiwei, head of the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council.

Based on 2014 figures, eliminating these duties will cost China 15 billion yuan ($2.24 billion) and 52 billion yuan in annual actual and potential tariff revenue losses respectively, Lou said.

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