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China Cuts Tariffs on 5,375 Commodities from ASEAN Countries
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China has cut or scrapped tariffs on 5,375 commodities from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) since 2005 in an effort to boost trade, said Wang Xinpei, spokesman with the Ministry of Commerce, on Thursday.

The average tariff has been reduced from 9.9 percent to 5.8 percent since both sides signed the Agreement on Trade in Goods in the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (CAFTA) in July 2005, when China and ASEAN started to remove trade barriers by launching a tariff reduction plan covering 7,000 categories of products.

Under the agreement, all the products will enjoy zero tariff ratings by 2010 when the the free trade area is established.

From January to July, Sino-ASEAN trade volume soared 27.5 percent over the same period last year to 109.77 billion U.S. dollars. China's imports stood at 58.77 billion U.S. dollars, up 22.4 percent, and exports 51 billion U.S. dollars, up 34 percent.

China mainly exports ships, knitted clothing, porcelain products and vegetables to ASEAN countries, and imports copper, rubber and coco products.

China is ASEAN's fourth largest trade partner, and ASEAN, for the first time, became the fourth largest trade partner of China this year.

(Xinhua News Agency August 17, 2007)

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