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The Central Economic Work Conference in mid-December said that China would step up policy adjustments and strengthen policy coordination to support the economy in 2023. China is likely to place more emphasis on economic growth in its development agenda for 2023 and beyond; the country is also expected to introduce a fresh macroeconomic policy mix to revive business and boost consumption in the upcoming months, economists said at a forum held on the 28th. The forum unveiled a report that mapped out China’s growth potential and possible advantages that could emerge between 2023 and 2027, which said that efforts should be made to boost consumption, revive the private sector, and optimize policies to help the real estate sector to recover.

China adjusted tariffs on a series of goods in 2023, bringing down the country’s overall tariff level from 7.4% to 7.3%, said the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council of China. Starting January 1st, the country imposes a provisional import tax rate lower than the “most-favored nation” tariff rate on 1,020 items, the commission said in a statement on December 29th.

China’s foreign trade value rose 8.6% year-on-year to USD $5.78 trillion from January-November in 2022. Among that, China’s imports grew 4.6% to USD $2.49 trillion. In the meantime, the total trade value between China and the US grew 4.8% year-on-year to USD $696.83 billion.

China has recently ended some restrictions in a move away from its “Zero-COVID” policy. As China eased COVID restrictions, US Meat Export Federation Vice President for Asia-Pacific Joel Haggard said the move should help open new opportunities for U.S. red meat as the restaurant industry rebounds. US Pork exports to China are lower year-over-year but have regained momentum in the second half of 2022.  From January to November 2022, mainland China imported a total of nearly 163,000 metric tons of US beef, up 26% year-on-year and nearly 20,000 metric tons higher than the annual imports from the US in 2021. Moreover, while there are indications that beef inventories in China have been building, Haggard is optimistic about an uptick in demand in 2023.

China further downgraded COVID management measures on 8th January, and it has reopened its border with Hong Kong. Moreover, there will be no more requests for quarantine for international visitors.

Qin Gang, China’s former ambassador to the United States, was appointed China’s new foreign minister on December 30.