BEIJING - China's total imports will likely exceed two trillion U.S. dollars this year, setting a new record, a trade official said.

Song Xianmao, deputy director of the foreign trade department under the Ministry of Commerce, made the  remarks at a trade meeting Saturday, adding that multiple measures will be taken to further expand imports  in next year.

China lowered tariffs on an array of products from medicines to vehicles in 2018, with the general duty level  down from 9.8 percent to 7.5 percent.

Customs data showed imports increased 14.6 percent year on year in the first 11 months, contributing more than 60 percent to foreign trade growth. To continue the stable trend, the ministry pledged efforts to strengthen trade  quality over the next year.

The second import expo scheduled for 2019 will create more opportunities for importers, and measures are in the pipeline to encourage imports of advanced technology, farm produce, consumer goods and services, Song said,  adding that lower tariffs, easier customs clearance and improved car imports policies could also be expected.