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China sees 10% increase in import, export volume in April
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20:01, May 13, 2009

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According to statistics released by the General Administration of Custom on May 12, China's foreign trade import trend continued to stabilize in April. The total import and export volume in April reached 170.73 billion U.S dollars, dropping 22.8% year-on-year but the rate of decline fell by 1.9 percentage points compared to the first quarter this year; the total import and export volume in April increased 10.49% compared to March.

The sever foreign trade climate

Compared with March, exports in April grew 6.9 percent, becoming the second increase following March. "The continuous growth trend does not mean the shrinking trend of external demand has been improved. China's foreign trade is still facing a very serious international situation", said Zhang Yansheng, director of the Foreign Economy Institute in Macroeconomic Research of National Development and Reform Commission.

In April, China's import and export volume was 78.8 billion U.S. dollars and 91.94 billion U.S. dollars, falling by 23% and 22.6% year-on-year respectively. Working days on average, increased 15.1% and 6.9% respectively compared to March. But when comparing year-on-year, although the import decline rate in April reduced 2.1 percentage points from March, the export decline rate increased 5.5 percentage points.

Zhang Yansheng believes that under the influence of the international financial crisis, enterprises' exports are facing dual pressures. On the one hand, the world's shrinking external demand has not fundamentally changed, the situation of the U.S. economy has not yet improved, enterprises are still facing great pressure for orders; On the other hand, the financial crisis led to the global economic recession. Some countries and regions have employed some protection measures such as raising import tariffs, prohibiting or restricting imports, which means trade friction is likely to enter an intense period, increasing difficulty for enterprises to exploit new markets.

Customs statistics showed that from January to April this year, China's total foreign trade import and export volume was 599.41 billion U.S. dollars, declining 24.3%. Among which, the export volume was 337.42 billion U.S. dollars, dropping 20.5 percent; the import volume was 261.99 billion U.S. dollars, falling 28.7%. The accumulated trade surplus was 75.43 billion U.S. dollars, increasing 32.4% over the same period last year, and the net increase was 18.45 billion U.S. dollars.

Policy effects continue to show

Customs statistics showed that in April, China's main labor-intensive product exports increased considerably on March. Clothing and accessories export volume was 7.37 billion U.S. dollars, increasing 3.9%; textile yarn and fabric export volume was 5.12 billion U.S. dollars, going up 13.4%; furniture export volume was 2.18 billion U.S. dollars, increasing 2.7%; footwear export volume was 2.06 billion U.S. dollars, rising 3.8%. In addition, in April, the electromechanical products export volume was 54.47 billion U.S. dollars, increasing 6.1%.

Zhang Yansheng said, "At present, China's export growth rate in European and American markets has exceeded the average import rate of European and American countries. This shows that China's export promotion policy has achieved significant results."

In terms of imports, in April, the quantity of China's iron ore, crude oil and refined oil imports all grew. Among which, imports of iron ore was 57 million tons, increasing 33.2 percent year-on-year; crude oil imports was 16.17 million tons, rising 13.6%. In addition, in April, the import of machinery and electronic products was 38.39 billion U.S. dollars, declining 20.2% but increasing 12.4% on the previous month; the import of cars reached 26,000, dropping 31.4% but rising 16.4% on the previous month. "This showed that driven by a series of policies to expand domestic demand, the domestic market is beginning to recover."

Promote the upgrade of enterprise structure

Faced with the sever situation in the international market, experts pointed out that we should hold a reasonable understanding of the policies and objectives in the export field, making every effort to maintain the export market share as well as seizing the opportunity to promote the structural upgrade of export enterprises.

When talking about supporting export enterprises, Zhang Yansheng pointed out that we must first solve the problem of finance for export enterprises. In the first quarter of this year, China's new added loans was over four trillion yuan, the majority of which was put into large corporations and government projects, the small and medium-sized enterprises still have great difficulties in financing. The export-oriented enterprises are focused in small and medium-sized enterprises, thus it is necessary for us to step up financial reform, addressing problems such as policy financing short falls for small and medium-sized enterprises.

Secondly, we should improve the independent innovation capacity of small and medium-sized enterprises in terms of technology, human resources and management. "This is the key to transform 'danger' into 'opportunity', and also a permanent method for enhancing core competitiveness", said Zhang Yansheng.

By People's Daily Online



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