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China pledges to strengthen EV support amid trade headwinds
Published on: Wednesday, February 07, 2024
By: Bloomberg, FMT
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China pledges to strengthen EV support amid trade headwinds
China’s electric vehicle industry grapples with mounting obstacles as trade restrictions from the European Union and the US loom. (BYD pic)
SHENZHEN: China has said it will strengthen support for the country’s electrified vehicle industry as the sector increasingly faces trade restrictions from the European Union and the US.

The ministries of commerce, foreign affairs and customs as well as four other government agencies on Wednesday called EV exports a “key pillar” in optimising China’s foreign trade.

They also published a set of guidelines that include steps such as better using international trade rules and engaging foreign governments to create an open and transparent environment for the electric car industry.

The nation’s automakers are also being encouraged by authorities to set up overseas research and development centres with local partners and officials called upon the financial industry in China to optimise credit and international transactions. No additional details about that monetary support was given.

China became the world’s largest automobile exporter in 2023, on the strength of its electric car production and regular passenger vehicles that it sells into Russia.

That’s put other markets on high alert, with the EU launching an investigation in October into whether China’s EV industry has unfairly benefited from Chinese government subsidies.

The Biden administration meanwhile is reportedly considering raising tariffs for Chinese-made cars, which are already subject to a 27.5% import tax.

On Wednesday, Chinese agencies said they would also help to set international standards around EVs and batteries, including how to safely transport the cells via rail.

Industry participants responded to the new guidelines positively, with the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers calling them a “very important” move.

“This guides manufacturers toward internationalisation and clarifies the framework for relevant government agencies to help the global development of the industry,” Xu Haidong, the association’s deputy chief engineer, said.

The guidelines will ultimately help China’s automotive sector better integrate globally and serve consumers worldwide, he added.

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