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China faces "grim" export situation: commerce minister
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11:04, March 10, 2009

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China's export continued the downward tendency in February and will face a "grim" situation in the "coming foreseeable months", said a senior official on Tuesday.

"Affected by the global economic recession, China has undergone negative growth in both import and export since last November," said Chen Deming, minister of commerce, at a press conference on the sidelines of the National People's Congress' annual session.

China has seen bigger decline in processing trade, export of coastal regions, and mechatronics products export, said Chen, adding that the country has taken a series of measures to cushion the global financial crisis.

"We have raised export rebate rates for enterprises," said Chen, adding the government will expand the coverage of export credit insurance, and encourage financial institutions to develop export credit, in a bid to improve the country's financial services for importing and exporting.

He also called for joint efforts to tackle the financing difficulties faced by enterprises.

The Customs statistics show that China's export saw a year-on-year decrease of 17.5 percent and import a decrease of 43.2 percent in January.

However, some industries as telecommunication have shown "good signs" in export, said Chen, adding that two Shenzhen-based telecommunication companies, ZTE and Huawei, both will see at least 30 percent growth in export and overseas business in 2009.

He attributed the growth to the stimulus plans, including telecommunication network upgrading, carried out by some foreign countries.

After years of hard work, both ZTE and Huawei set up several hundred outlets, and nurtured a group of tens of thousands of scientists and technicians overseas, said Chen.

Chen said that some other competent companies already went global and undertook international mergers and acquisitions.

These enterprises will bring some business back to China, and also give value-added business to other countries, according to Chen, adding:" That's why we see both crisis and opportunities within the global downturn.

"We are now conducting research on the 'go global' strategy to help our enterprises develop overseas business, and thus drive both external demand and export," said Chen, adding that external demand and export will also help boost China's employment and internal demand.

China will continue to implement the "go global" strategy, support all kinds of competent Chinese enterprises in investing overseas and undertaking international mergers and acquisitions, and encourage large enterprises to play a leading role in implementing the "go global" strategy, according to the government work report delivered by Premier Wen Jiabao last week.

Minister of Commerce Chen Deming (2nd L), Minister of Industry and Information Technology Li Yizhong (3rd L) and Minister of Human Resources and Social Security Yin Weimin (4th L) attend a press conference on "Boost domestic demand, increase employment and sustain economic growth" held by the Second Session of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 10, 2009. (Xinhua/Chen Shugen)


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