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Outlook of China foreign trade positive, Vice Minister of Commerce
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08:59, July 23, 2008

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The outlook of China's foreign trade in the second half of 2008 would be positive despite a sharp decline in first half trade surplus, Vice Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng said at a press conference here on Tuesday.

The country's trade surplus fell to 99.03 billion U.S. dollars in the first six months, down 11.8 percent from the same period last year, according to customs statistics.

Imports rose 30.6 percent year-on-year to 567.57 billion U.S. dollars, while exports jumped 21.9 percent to 666.6 billion U.S. dollars.

Export growth in the first half was 5.7 percentage points lower from a year earlier, which further slowed in June by 10.5 percentage points from May.

Gao said a main reason for the export fall was the government policies to cut exports of high-polluting and energy-consuming items.

The slowing export growth, however, reflected weaker global demand and could cool the country's economy growth, analysts said.

Gao said the ministry would further study the difficulties in some export industries and aid them "at a proper time."

He also announced at the conference the China Import and Export Fair, or the "Canton fair," would run between Oct. 15 and Nov. 6 in Guangzhou in the southern Guangdong Province. The fair was considered a "barometer" of the country's foreign trade.

The country's gross domestic product (GDP) grew 10.4 percent in the first half. The growth rate was 1.8 percentage points lower than the first half last year, or 0.2 percentage points lower than the first quarter of this year.

Source: Xinhua

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