Shanghai’s trade expanded 16.5 percent from a year earlier in January, better than the national average of 10.3 percent, due to the pilot free trade zone, the Shanghai Statistics Bureau said yesterday.
Exports rose 9.8 percent to US$19.6 billion last month, compared with a 2.5 percent rise a month earlier. Imports jumped 22.9 percent to US$22.8 billion, compared with December’s 13.8 percent.
Li Maoyu, an analyst at Changjiang Securities Co, said Shanghai’s trade benefited from the upturn in the global economy and the city’s FTZ facilitated that process.
“Ever since the inauguration of the FTZ program, the city has attracted attention from various traders and investors,” Li said.
At the annual session of the Shanghai People’s Congress last month, Mayor Yang Xiong said the city would focus on reform and opening-up this year, with the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone as one of its priorities.
Yang said the city government will seek “substantive progress” in reforms, including cross-border settlement in the yuan, its convertibility under the capital account and interest rate liberalization in the zone which opened in September.
Shanghai’s gross domestic product grew 7.7 percent last year, equaling the national level and above 7.5 percent in 2012. The city’s Consumer Price Index, the main gauge of inflation, rose 3 percent in January, compared with 2.4 percent a month earlier.