China to boost consumer services to shore up growth

Beijing, Nov 22 (IANS) China will strengthen support for consumer services to upgrade the consumption structure and bolster economic growth, according to a guideline issued by the state council.

Several key sectors, including health care, senior citizen care, tourism, sports, hotels and catering, as well as education and training services will be prioritised, Xinhua cited the guideline as saying on Saturday.

The guidelines are China’s first such policy document to specifically target consumer services, improving infrastructure for public services and building a better consumption environment for both domestic and international customers.

Consumer services will be expanded to rural areas, information infrastructure construction in rural areas will be accelerated, and private and overseas capital welcomed to invest in the elder care industry.

More land and price support will be provided, including favourable land policies for senior citizen care, health care and household services, and lowered transaction card fees in services such as catering.

The government will work to improve the business and consumption environment through strengthened supervision, better intellectual property rights protection and crackdowns on fake goods.

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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