March 17, 2020 / 12:36 PM / 13 days ago

China raises export tax rebate on almost 1,500 products to boost virus-hit trade

BEIJING (Reuters) - China will increase export tax rebates on almost 1,500 products from March 20, the finance ministry said on Tuesday, as the government looks to ease the pressure on companies hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak.

The Ministry of Finance said 1,084 products, including porcelain sanitary ware, would have the rebate raised to 13%, while another 380 products will see the rebate rise to 9%. It did not specify the previous rebate rates.

In China, the world’s biggest exporter according to the World Trade Organization, companies can apply for a rebate, or refund of the value-added tax (VAT) and consumption tax on eligible products destined for overseas markets.

The rebates may cushion some impact from reduced trade in the wake of the virus outbreak, which saw China’s industrial output contract at its sharpest pace in 30 years in the first two months of 2020, as factories remained closed long after the extended Lunar New Year holiday.

Among the other products now entitled to a 13% export tax rebate are chemicals ethylene, propylene and ethylene glycol, as well as stainless steel strip and wire.

Reporting by Judy Hua, Kevin Yao and Tom Daly; additional reporting by Muyu Xu and Min Zhang; editing by John Stonestreet and Louise Heavens

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