BEIJING, Dec. 25 (Xinhua) -- China's Ministry of Commerce will make efforts to increase domestic consumption, and open new markets for foreign trade in 2010, said Chen Deming, the country's commerce minister.
Chen made the remarks at a national commerce meeting held in Beijing Thursday, saying the government would continue to stimulate domestic demand, especially consumption, amid the slow and tough world economic recovery and weak overseas demand.
In 2010, the government would increase the number of products in the "home appliances to the countryside" program, increase subsidies for automobile "old-for-new" services, and establish an electronic payment network in the countryside, to stimulate consumption.
The government would support banks, and guarantee agencies to give more financial aid to commercial enterprises, especially small and medium-sized ones, said Chen.
Online consumption would be encouraged in 2010. According to Chen, the government would encourage companies to develop e-business ventures.
Chen expected China's retail sales of consumer goods in 2009 to increase more than 15 percent from last year, to 12.5 trillion yuan (1.83 trillion U.S. dollars).
Nationwide retail sales grew 15.3 percent year on year in the January-October period to 10.14 trillion yuan.
Meanwhile, the government would try to stimulate foreign trade next year, by maintaining the export tax rebates policy, and widening the export credit insurance coverage.
Relevant government departments should be mindful of exporters with regards to customs clearance, quality inspection, and foreign exchange management.
Efforts would also go to developing foreign trade through improving marketing and further tapping potential in emerging overseas markets.
"China's foreign trade volume is expected to drop 16 percent year on year to about 2.2 trillion U.S. dollars in 2009," said Chen.
The government also aims to "better use" foreign investment next year, with measuring including encouraging foreign companies to establish medical care and professional education training institutions.
Policy and financial support will be allocated to guide foreign companies to engage in the high-tech and new energy industries, and encourage them to set up headquarters, research and development centers, and purchase centers in China.
"China is expected to receive foreign investment of about 85 billion U.S. dollars in 2009, a decrease of 8 percent from the previous year," said Chen.