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Export woes need for change in trade structure

By Li Jiabao (China Daily)

08:44, February 06, 2013

A textile mill, whose products are mainly for export, in Huaibei, Anhui province. Many of the country's provinces have set lower foreign trade targets for this year due to sluggish global demand and the unfavorable trade environment. [Photo/China Daily]

The recent lowering of foreign trade targets by provincial governments suggests more challenging prospects for China's foreign trade this year after lackluster growth in 2012, with experts calling for urgent steps to improve the nation's trade structure.

Guangdong province, which accounts for a quarter of China's foreign trade, has set a foreign trade growth target of 5 percent for 2013, despite the province's trade growing 7.7 percent year-on-year in 2012, surpassing its 7.5 percent target.

The eastern province of Jiangsu lowered its target to 5 percent this year from 8 percent in 2012 after its foreign trade rose 1.6 percent year-on-year.

"We must speed up the strategic transformation of foreign trade in 2013 ... and balance imports and exports while fostering new trade growth engines, as well as upgrading processing trade," said Guangdong Governor Zhu Xiaodan.

Fujian province has set a target of 5 percent for this year, while Shandong province expects its foreign trade to grow by 8 percent.

Zhejiang province is expected to set a lower target than last year's 10 percent.

Guangdong, Jiangsu, Fujian, Shandong and Zhejiang accounted for 58 percent of China's total foreign trade in 2012.

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