China unveils ‘market-oriented’ plan to boost consumption: analyst

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/10/11 23:03:42

A State Council policy issued on Thursday aimed at further unleashing Chinese people's spending power will serve together with other policies such as the reduction of banks' reserve ratios to stabilize growth, a Chinese analyst said.

The State Council, China's cabinet, announced on Thursday a public plan to improve the mechanisms for promoting consumption between 2018 and 2020.

The plan maps out ways to remove the most direct and prominent system- and mechanism-related barriers that hinder consumption, in order to further stimulate consumption potential.

The plan was rolled out at a critical time when China faces rising external uncertainties and retail sales are growing at a slower pace than expected. The annual growth rate of 9.3 percent in retail sales in the first eight months this year was slower than the 10 percent growth target outlined at the end of 2017.

Zhao Ping, the director of the international trade department at the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, told the Global Times on Thursday that the new guideline policy is part of a combination of policies rolled out by the Chinese central government aimed at stabilizing growth.

The policy, which encompasses 26 items from boosting new-energy vehicle sales with an improved scoring system to fostering homegrown brands and boosting consumer confidence, is a general policy, different from traditional stimulus policies that focus on certain growth points such as boosting home appliance sales with green subsidies.

"The change is a marked turn toward more market-oriented thinking by top policymakers in boosting consumption. It seeks incremental improvement rather than an overnight effect," Zhao said.

Differing approaches were also applied to different sectors, which face different bottlenecks that check growth.

"For daily consumer goods, the focus is on convenience while for services such as elderly care, the focus is aimed at boosting supply by removing mechanism obstacles, as the sector could not meet people's needs," Zhao said.

China will nurture market segments in important domains of consumption, create a sound consumption environment and continuously raise residents' consumption capacities, the plan showed.

Before 2020, the government will relax market access in the field of service consumption, improve the policy mix for promoting the upgrading of material consumption structures, and set more standards for goods and services in important areas, the plan read.

Posted in: COMPANIES

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