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China focuses on boosting consumption

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China’s major provinces and Beijing are sparing no effort to stimulate consumption, with results having been seen in recent weeks.

The capital city’s development and reform commission released a document on Monday to remove certain barriers for businesses. Measures include speeding up business reviews and approvals, encouraging innovation in business operations and strengthening intellectual property protection.

Under the rules, Beijing will improve its e-commerce retail business environment, work to upgrade its regulatory system, encourage financial institutions to provide special credit lines, preferential interest rates, flexible adjustment of repayment arrangements and other differentiated services, and identify traditional Chinese pharmaceutical products for cross-border e-commerce.

New business operation practices were identified in the document for consumption upgrades, including conducting trials for outdoor business activities in key commercial areas.

District governments will enact measures, including areas of operation, hours and business categories. Operators should file their business activities online in advance to ensure effective supervision.

Guangdong province is wasting no time in promoting the construction of two major international consumption cities in Guangdong province’s Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

Known for its commercial development and marketing economy, it will accelerate the cultivation of new consumption patterns to help achieve its goals, said provincial authorities.

Top priority will be given to the resumption and expansion of consumption, enhancing consumer confidence and optimizing the consumption environment in the months to come, said authorities.

Guangdong, which has set a 6 percent growth goal for consumption this year, will support and encourage bulk consumption of housing, new energy vehicles and green smart appliances, and promote the development of the catering, culture and tourism, elderly care and child care industries.

It will also construct six regional consumption centers and build and cultivate a number of domestic and international brands in the province in the months ahead.

In Guangzhou, consumption has witnessed a strong rebound during the Spring Festival holiday after a series of measures had been introduced to spur consumption.

Chen Yanchuan, deputy director of the Guangzhou bureau of commerce, said Guangzhou’s Beijing Road shopping area alone reached a business volume of 345 million yuan ($51.06 million) in the weeklong holiday ending last Friday, up 19.4 percent year-on-year. The Beijing Road shopping area witnessed more than 3.4 million visitors during the holiday, up 36.7 percent year-on-year.

Wang Xiaodan, an associate professor with the Guangdong University of Finance and Economics, urged Guangdong to expand its cultural and tourism consumption in the coming months as the province has rich tourism resources and unique Lingnan (South China) culture.

“Guangdong should further expand cooperation with Hong Kong and Macao to further explore the tourism and consumption market,” she said.

In Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces, the consumer market continued to pick up speed during the festival holiday.

The provincial department of commerce in Zhejiang said 440 key commercial and trade companies saw revenues increase over the period by 6 percent year-on-year and by 64.7 percent compared with 2020.Business along 29 pedestrian-only shopping streets during the period expanded by about 52 percent.

Jiangsu province received 41.35 million visitors during the holiday, up 21.8 percent from the same period last year.

Its gross tourism revenue during the seven-day holiday reached 28.2 billion yuan, while sales in the catering industry increased to 13 billion yuan, up 9 percent year-on-year.

More than 13 million people in Jiangsu spent 717 million yuan going to cinemas during the festival, which accounted for more than 10 percent of the country’s total, according to the China Film Administration.

Consumption of many industries, including catering, new-energy vehicles and home appliances, will be further encouraged.

“Distributing coupons to stimulate consumption has turned out to be effective for many cities,” said Zhu Juping, director of the Institute of Economic Development under the Taizhou branch of the Jiangsu Academy of Social Sciences.

“Consumer desire to shop has been released as many of the COVID-19 prevention measures had been lifted,” she said.

Source : China Daily