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Wednesday, November 11, 2015, 21:29

China to step up efforts to stimulate consumption

By Xinhua

China to step up efforts to stimulate consumption
Consumers select products in a supermarket in Qingdao, Shandong province on Sept 10, 2015. (AFP Photo)

BEIJING - China will step up its efforts to shore up consumption and boost domestic demand amid lingering downward pressure on the economy, according to a statement from a government meeting on Wednesday.

The government will accelerate reform and innovation to help consumption growth, said a statement after the regular meeting of the State Council, China's cabinet, chaired by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

The State Council agreed that authorities will widen market access for private investors and gradually reduce restrictions on foreign capital. The government will work to improve business and consumption environment through strengthened supervision, better intellectual property rights protection and crackdowns on fake goods.

China will also encourage businesses to adopt new technology and materials to improve the quality of their products, according to the statement.

The Cabinet also pledged to accelerate household registration reform, which will help people relocate to cities, in order to drive home sales and boost consumption of home appliances.

In addition, the government will encourage imports of consumer goods, open more duty-free shops and improve tax refund policies for foreign tourists.

Given the continued slowdown, China is counting on domestic consumption to replace old economic engines and prop up growth. The economy expanded 6.9 percent year on year in the first three quarters of 2015, the lowest reading since the second quarter of 2009.

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