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Pudong acts to improve trade

PUDONG New Area has introduced a slew of measures this year to help traders reduce costs and counter declines in trade, officials said yesterday.

The measures included cutting inspection and quarantine fees as well as streamlining procedures at the Pudong Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau.

The measures were expected to bolster the district's imports and exports in the short term. Over the long term, they can add to Pudong's charm and attract more companies, said Sun Yongqiang, vice director of the Economic Committee of Shanghai Pudong Area, at a conference.

Since this year, the bureau has scrapped fees for checking products including livestock and cut charges in half for other agricultural products.

Also, the bureau reduced inspection and quarantine fees by 30 percent on textile products. In the first four months, more than 180 textile manufacturers in Pudong have seen their trade costs drop more than a combined 500,000 yuan (US$73,313).

Meanwhile, the bureau attempted to streamline inspection and quarantine procedures.

"Assuring safety and quality, we hope to shorten procedure times by 20 percent. It requires us to be more efficient," said Wang Xiao, an official with the bureau. He also said the authority planned to expand coverage of companies exempted from inspection after they were proven trustworthy.

Trade in Pudong slumped 24.8 percent from a year earlier to US$24.9 billion in the first quarter of this year. Its exports fell 17.6 percent while imports dived 29.7 percent. Some factories, including an Intel Corp chip manufacturing plant, moved out of Pudong due to the global recession.

"We hope to help businesses weather the global economic meltdown and make Pudong more attractive," said vice director Sun.


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