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Export woes need for change in trade structure (2)

By Li Jiabao (China Daily)

08:45, February 06, 2013

Commerce Ministry spokesman Shen Danyang said that trade prospects will remain challenging this year due to sluggish overseas demand and the unfavorable trade environment.

Wei Jianguo, vice-chairman and secretary-general of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, added: "I am concerned that China's foreign trade outlook this year will be more challenging than in 2012."

China's foreign trade rose 6.2 percent year-on-year in 2012, missing its 10 percent target and contrasting sharply with the 22.5 percent surge in 2011.

Exports grew 7.9 percent year-on-year in 2012, the slowest pace in more than a decade except 2009, in the wake of the outbreak of the global financial crisis.

Speaking at a forum on Friday, Wei added that global economic prospects will remain uncertain over the next three to five years.

Economic growth in the United States, China's biggest export destination in 2012, may not bounce back as expected owing to the difficulties in repatriating manufacturing to boost its real economy.

Wei said many experts in the US claim that China stands to benefit more from the Doha Round of world trade talks, which explains the White House's general indifference toward these talks and its preference for regional trade agreements.

"We must also watch out for the European Union, a key player in China's exports. The EU's debt woes will last for a long time and the biggest concern now is its unemployment and looming fiscal trouble in Italy. Sluggish demand in the EU will further drive down turnover at the Canton Fair (China's largest biannual trade fair and a barometer of its exports) after a 9.3 percent drop at the autumn event," said Wei, a former vice-minister of commerce.

Yao Jingyuan, a researcher at the Counselors' Office of the State Council, blamed weak exports in 2012 for China's slow economic growth, which expanded 7.8 percent year-on-year, the slowest pace since 1999.

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Email|Print|Comments(Editor:HuangBeibei、Li Zhenyu)

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