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China's current foreign trade sector shows positive signs
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15:02, February 12, 2009

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China's imports and exports recorded decreases for the first time in ten years, but according to an analysis of foreign trade statistics released on February 11 by the General Administration of Customs of the PRC (GACC), there are still positive signs.

Firstly, export incentive policies begin to show results

China raised its export tax rebate rates repeatedly in 2008 - on August 1, November 1 and December 1. These policies have already begun to show results. In January this year, exports of commodities affected by policy adjustments, including garments, shoes, bags and suitcases, have increased to some extent. Exports of garments reached 10.51 billion USD, up by 5.7 percent; exports of shoes were 2.91 billion USD, up by 10.6 percent; and exports of bags and suitcases reached 1.15 billion USD, up by 8.3 percent.

Secondly, growth of general trade export prices are basically stable

When weakening overseas demand leads to drastic drops in processing trade orders, the stable growth of export prices plays a very important role in driving overall exports. According to GACC's analysis, growth rates for China's general trade export prices during the months of June through December in 2008 compared to last year were basically stable at around 16-19 percent. In December last year, general trade exports bucked the trend and maintained a growth rate of 6 percent. In January this year, the total value of China's exports declined. However, after adjusting for the Spring Festival, the export value in January still rose 6.8 percent year-on-year and grew 10.1 percent from December.

Thirdly, Chinese products' market shares in major export markets rebound

Between June and October 2008, Chinese products saw their shares in the US market gradually grow from 14.8 percent to 18.2 percent, and rise from 14.1 percent to 18.4 percent in the EU market. In Japan, market share increased from 17.3 percent in June to 21.2 percent in November. These figures play an important supporting role in ensuring that China's economy will be the first to recover from the current low after the economies of Europe, the US and Japan have stabilized.

However, annual trend of foreign trade requires further observation

Analysts believe that figures from last December predicted that China's foreign trade volume as well as its imports and exports would continue to slide in the first month of this year. However, figures related to foreign trade in January could not be compared to some extent, because of the effect of the Spring Festival holiday. The annual trend for foreign trade still requires further observation.

GACC statistics show that in January 2009, all of the top six import and export provinces and municipalities witnessed sharp drops in values of imports and exports. Values of imports and exports for Guangdong, Jiangsu and Shanghai stood at 36.63 billion USD, 21.24 billion USD and 18.13 billion USD respectively, dropping 31.1 percent, 32.2 percent and 29.5 percent. Values for Zhejiang, Beijing and Shandong amounted to 14.64 billion USD, 11.92 billion USD and 8.91 billion USD, falling 17.4 percent, 41.9 percent and 25.9 percent respectively.

In an analysis of the current foreign trade situation, GACC believes that as the impact of the international financial crisis continues to spread, a slowdown in world economic growth has already become inevitable.

By People's Daily Online

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