China details measures to support imports as economy cools

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's cabinet issued detailed measures on Thursday to support imports of high-tech equipment, resource products and consumer goods, in its latest efforts to support the cooling Chinese economy.

The government will encourage banks to expand credit support for imports of high-tech equipment and key components to promote industrial upgrading, according to a statement published on the central government's website, www.gov.cn.

The government also will rally local firms to speed up overseas investment, develop offshore energy resources and ship strategic resources back to China to help stabilise supply of energy and other resources.

China aims to improve the national reserve system on resources and support enterprises to establish their own commercial reserves, the cabinet said.

To spur imports of consumer goods, the government will speed up the process of signing quarantine agreements with relevant countries on aquatic products, fruits, beef and mutton, it said without elaborating.

The latest step to boost imports will help restructure the economy, rebalance trade and "make good use" of the country's massive foreign exchange reserves, the cabinet said.

China's imports jumped 7 per cent in September from a year ago, though analysts warned the unexpectedly buoyant imports could be due to one-off factors.