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People's Daily Online>>China Business

China needs combined measures to stabilize exports

By Wang Youling (

16:45, January 12, 2012

Edited and translated by People's Daily Online

China's imports and exports totaled 3.6 trillion U.S. dollars in 2011, up nearly 23 percent from the previous year, according to statistics released by the General Administration of Customs on Jan. 10. In December last year, the country's exports rose over 13 percent from a year earlier to 174.7 billion U.S. dollars, and imports rose nearly 12 percent to 158.2 billion U.S. dollars.

Experts noted that China witnessed a slowdown in both import and export growth last year, and should take a package of measures to stabilize exports in 2012.

Slowdown in import and export growth indicates difficult situation facing foreign trade

"Given the grim international economic conditions and weak external demand last year, a foreign trade growth rate of nearly 23 percent is quite an achievement," said Feng Lei, director of the Department of International Trade and Investment under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of Finance and Trade Economics.

Zhou Shijian, a senior research fellow at Tsinghua University's Center for U.S.-China Relations, said that China's foreign trade grew more than 20 percent in 2011, but is still facing a difficult situation. Its export growth has slowed since August last year, and import growth dropped to nearly 12 percent in December from over 22 percent in November.

Zhou said that foreign trade growth is generally stronger in the second half than in the first half of a year, but it was quite the other way around in China in 2011. The shopping seasons in the United States and Europe in the second half of last year did not help bolster China's exports. At the same time, the country's import growth slowed sharply amid domestic economic slowdown.

"These signals indicate a difficult situation facing China's foreign trade. The country's exports are likely to witness only single-digit growth in 2012," he noted.

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