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People's Daily Online>>China Business

10 percent growth in trade attainable for 2012, Chen says

By Wang Yanlin (Shanghai Daily)

09:25, March 08, 2012

CHINA should be able to accomplish its 10 percent growth target for trade this year but it won't be easy, Commerce Minister Chen Deming said yesterday.

In the first two months, preliminary data collected by the ministry showed that China's exports gained nearly 7 percent year on year, and imports advanced a bit more.

"Arduous efforts will be needed to meet the goal of increasing China's trade by 10 percent this year," Chen said. "We can still present growth in trade this year, and the overall conditions may improve in the second half of this year."

China's trade suffered a strong setback in January as both exports and imports dropped amid shrinking external demand and a slowing domestic economy. Exports in January fell 0.5 percent from a year earlier, the first drop since November 2009, and imports plunged 15 percent.

The International Monetary Fund warned last month that China's trade may have to endure hardship this year, and if Europe experiences a sharp economic downturn, China's gross domestic product could be almost halved from a projected 8 percent due to falling exports.

"We will keep trade policies basically stable to support exporters," Chen said. "Also, we will step up efforts to encourage imports as a means to sustain our trade growth."

During the first two months of 2011, China's foreign trade totaled US$495.8 billion, representing a 28.3 percent year-on-year growth.

Chen attributed this year's slowdown to tighter environments at home and abroad and the deepening of the global financial crisis, citing the impact of the European debt crisis on consumption.

Domestically, rising costs have pushed up the prices of goods and services, he said.

Since August last year, China's exports have slowed, from a year-on-year growth of 27.8 percent in August to 12 percent in December.


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