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China to synchronize trade growth, economic expansion


08:13, January 17, 2013

BEIJING, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese government aims to boost foreign trade in tandem with the country's economic expansion in 2013, as external demand is expected to remain slack, the Ministry of Commerce said Wednesday.

China's foreign trade situation will remain grim this year despite positive domestic factors, as anemic external demand and a rough trade environment cannot be fundamentally solved, the ministry's spokesman Shen Danyang said at a press conference.

"Our goal in 2013 is to encourage trade to grow at the same rate as the GDP while further stabilizing and expanding the country's share in global trade," the spokesman said.

Foreign trade increased 6.2 percent from a year earlier last year, down sharply from 22.5 percent in 2011, customs data showed.

The figure was hard-won compared to the 2.5-percent growth registered in global trade last year and could be the highest among major global traders, according to Shen.

China's share of global trade rose to 11.08 percent in the first three quarters of 2012 from 10.47 percent at the end of 2011, according to Shen.

China's status as the world's second-largest importer allowed it to make important contributions in promoting global economic recovery last year, Shen said, adding that figures will show that the country's share of global imports of goods rose in 2012.

China will focus its energy on expanding imports in 2013, introducing measures such as favorable fiscal and financial policies in order to promote balanced trade, Shen said.

Most economists have projected slightly higher GDP growth for 2013 due to government pro-growth measures. On Friday, the government will release the GDP growth figure for 2012, which is expected to exceed the 7.5-percent government target set earlier last year.

To dispel suspicions regarding falsified December trade data, Shen said the sharp increase in trade growth between November and December was normal, citing similar increases in February and May last year.

The fluctuation was attributed to a harsh trade environment and holiday-related factors. The removal of a free quarantine policy by the end of last year may have boosted trade in December, Shen said.

In December, China's exports trumped forecasts to increase 14.1 percent from one year earlier, up from November's 2.9-percent rise.

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