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Robust China-EU trade mixed with slowdown
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17:18, October 29, 2008

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The latest figure released by the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) shows that the trade between China and its largest trading partner European Union has been growing fast over the first nine months of the year but there were signs of slowdown due to the international financial crisis.

Imports and exports between China and EU reached 3225 billion USD, rising 25.9 percent over the same period of last year . China's export to the EU is valued 2204.7 billion USD, up by 25.6 percent while its import from the EU stands at 1020.4 billion USD, up by 26.6 percent.

The increases in the bilateral trade and China's exports are both higher than the rises of China's total foreign trade and exports from January to September this year. The growth rates are also much faster than the trade between China and the US, its second largest trading partner.

However, Vice Minister of MOFCOM Gao Hucheng warned on Oct. 28 that the world economic slowdown and increasing uncertainties were making China's export situation more difficult than ever. In August and September, the growth of China's export to the EU market fell to 22 percent and 20.8 percent respectively from the increase of 27.1 percent in the first seven months of the year.

He is concerned that the sluggish world economy would fuel the trade protectionism and more risks would emerge as credits in some markets are deteriorated.

But he believes that China's foreign trade is fundamentally sound and Chinese products are competitive on the global market. Generally there are more opportunities than challenges.

By People's Daily Online

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