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China's trade performance 'the best' in 2012

By Li Jiabao (

08:24, January 11, 2013

China's foreign trade in 2012, which rose 6.2 percent year-on-year to $3.867 trillion, saw the best performance among major global economies, Zheng Yuesheng, spokesman of the General Administration of Customs said at a news briefing on Thursday.

The growth rate, even though it missed the 10 percent target set earlier in the year, was achieved with "great effort" as 2012 saw the deepening of the eurozone debt crisis and the lackluster global economic recovery hit demand, while China's economic growth was also under pressure, Zheng said.

He added that the European Union, the United States and Japan will publish their trade statistics in the next two or three months. The first 10 months of 2012 saw Japan's foreign trade edging up 1.1 percent year-on-year, while the EU's foreign trade dropped 2.1 percent year-on-year. The US' foreign trade rose 4.2 percent year-on-year in the same period.

Weak global demand rooted in the manufacturing contraction in developed economies and weakened export competitiveness, caused by rising labor and production costs at home, were responsible for China missing the 2012 trade growth target. Prevalent trade protectionism, which hurt China the most among global major economies, was also to blame, according to Zheng.

The domestic economic slowdown in 2012 and the decrease of foreign direct investment flowing to China also restrained China's imports, Zheng added.

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