China announced a series of measures aimed at halting a slowdown in export growth on Wednesday, including more credit for small firms and swifter processing of tax rebates. The government urged banks to increase trade financing for small firms and expand credit to qualified exporters, the State Council, or cabinet, said following a meeting chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao. It promised to speed up the processing of export tax rebates and asked insurance companies to expand services for smaller exporters, the official Xinhua news agency quoted the State Council as saying. The expected measures followed a rise of just 2.7 per cent year-on-year in monthly exports in August and a fall of 2.6 per cent in imports, amid many signs of slowing growth in the world’s second-largest economy. Total foreign trade rose 6.2 per cent year-on-year in the first eight months of 2012, at a rate below the government’s target of 10 per cent for full-year growth. China’s estimated economic growth fell to 7.6 per cent, its slowest pace for three years, in the second quarter of this year.