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China's foreign trade boom


08:11, August 22, 2012

BEIJING, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- Growth in foreign trade over the past decade has turned China into a leading country when it comes to international business.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said the last ten years has seen the country's rapid integration into the world economy in an era of economic globalization. On Tuesday, the NBS published its fourth report reviewing the country's development since the 16th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in late 2002.

The Chinese economy is increasingly interconnected and becoming interdependent within the world market.

The following are facts and figures from the report:

-- Foreign trade in goods reached 3.64 trillion U.S. dollars at the end of 2011, which is 4.9 times greater than the amount for 2002.

-- China has become the world's largest exporter since 2009, with exports totaling 1.9 trillion U.S. dollars in 2011 -- up 480 percent since 2002.

-- China is the world's second-largest importer, with imports jumping 4.9-fold since 2002, to 1.74 trillion U.S. dollars in 2011.

-- The average annual growth rate of foreign trade in goods between 2003 and 2011 stood at 21.7 percent.

-- Trade is increasingly balanced with a shrinking surplus and lower tariff. The overall tariff for imports dropped to 9.8 percent in 2011. Its trade surplus reached a peak of 298.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2008, and kept falling afterwards to 195.7 billion U.S. dollars in 2009, 181.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2010, and 155.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2011.

-- The proportion of surplus foreign trade moved down from 10.1 percent in 2002, to 8.9 percent in 2009, 6.2 percent 2010 and 4.3 percent in 2011.

-- The number of trading partners jumped to 231 countries or regions in 2011.

-- Foreign direct investment (FDI) reached 116 billion U.S. dollars in 2011, making China the second most attractive destination for foreign investment behind the United States. China attracted 716.4 billion U.S. dollars of FDI in non-financial sectors between 2003 and 2011, with an average annual growth rate of 9.2 percent.

-- China's cumulative outbound direct investment (ODI) in non-financial sectors amounted to 318.9 billion U.S. dollars at the end of 2011, with an average annual growth rate of 46.4 percent. Last year alone, the country's non-financial ODI was 60.1 billion U.S. dollars, which was 19.7 times greater than the figure in 2003.

-- China has established 15 free trade areas with 28 countries and regions.

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