Taiyuan city, capital of North China's Shanxi province, was recently recognized as one of China's top 100 foreign trade cities in 2019, according to a list released by the influential China Customs magazine.

The city ranked 80th with the score of 70 on the list compiled by the magazine, which is sponsored by the General Administration of Customs.

Based on statistics collected by Taiyuan Customs and economic data from prefecture-level cities across China, the selection criteria consisted of 25 indicators in five areas including a city's competitiveness in foreign trade, structure, benefits, development and potential.

Since the start of the year, Taiyuan Customs has issued more than 50 measures in 20 areas to promote the growth of foreign trade, successfully stabilizing foreign trade fundamentals in the city and Shanxi province.

By simplifying the registration procedures for foreign trading firms, the number of import and export enterprises registered in Shanxi province increased by 517 from January to July, a year-on-year increase of 19 percent.

The main business of the Taiyuan Customs office has been handled online, to facilitate local foreign trading businesses. Improvement has taken place since local enterprises were able to apply for entry and exit inspections and quarantine declarations online.

The overall customs clearance time for import and export goods through Taiyuan Customs was 45.6 and 3.4 hours respectively over the past seven months, a decrease of 73.5 and 8.1 hours respectively from that at the end of 2017.

Officials said that more benefits have been introduced for foreign trading enterprises during the January-July period.

Some 70 million yuan ($10.07 million) in their taxes have been reduced or exempted during the period, with the reduction and exemption value increasing 34.6 percent year on year.

The customs office issued over 4,800 free trade agreement certificates of origin, allowing local foreign trade enterprises to enjoy tax incentives of over $10 million in other countries and regions.

The customs office has also been supporting the development of cross-border e-commerce.

It has given policy presentations and provided business consultations, targeting the construction needs of China (Taiyuan) Cross-border E-commerce Comprehensive Pilot Area in Taiyuan city.

Meanwhile, it has helped the Taiyuan Wusu Comprehensive Bonded Zone establish designated inspection sites for the import of fruit and cold food and an express mail regulation center, as well as facilitated expansion of an imported meat processing project. 

Many private companies and small and medium-sized enterprises in the province have received help from the customs office, with various agricultural specialties exported for the first time over the past seven months.