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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Difficult year ahead for export companies

By  Diao Ying and Gao Changxin (China Daily)

08:09, December 08, 2011

BEIJING / SHANGHAI - China's exports, a major engine of the country's economy, may slow further next year on weakening demand in developed economies and rising costs at home, Ministry of Commerce officials said on Wednesday.

"Foreign trade is facing a severe situation next year," Wang Shouwen, head of the foreign trade department of the ministry, said at a news conference in Beijing as the ministry released a white paper on China's foreign trade.

Demand will not improve in Europe and the United States - China's major export destinations - and costs such as wages and land prices are rising, he said.

Growth of China's overseas sales has seen a setback in recent months. Exports in October increased 15.9 percent year-on-year, the slowest growth in eight months.

Chong Quan, deputy representative for China's international trade talks, said export growth in November slowed even more. The November figures will be announced later this week.

Chong's remarks confirmed expectations that worsening external markets are dragging on the world's second-largest economy.

Zhang Liqun, a researcher at the Development Research Center of the State Council, said export growth will slow to 15 percent next year from an estimated 18 percent this year.

Wang Tao, an economist with financial company UBS AG, even expects China's exports will cease to grow in 2012 because of "significantly weakened external demand".

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