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China narrows trade surplus in 2018: report

(People's Daily)    13:25, March 04, 2019

Second Vice President Seif Ali Iddi of Zanzibar, Tanzannia (second from the right in the front) visits the Tanzanian exhibition booth at the 15th China-ASEAN Expo and the concurrent China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit. The event was held in Nanning, capital of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region from September 12 to 15, 2018. (Photo by Peng Huan, People’s Daily Online)

China’s exports rose 7.1 percent year on year in 2018, while imports grew 12.9 percent, resulting in a substantially narrowed trade surplus, according to a statistical communique issued by the country’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Thursday (February 28th). Expert said that the country has opened wider to the global market and injected new energy into world’s economic growth.

Excluding the banking, securities and insurance fields, a total of 60,533 foreign-funded enterprises were set up in China in 2018, up 69.8 percent year on year, added the communique on the economic and social development in 2018.

Of those newly-established foreign firms, 4,479 were from the countries along the Belt and Road, 16.1 percent more than the previous year.

Facing the instabilities and uncertainties of the global economic growth, China has unswervingly engaged itself in cooperation for win-win results and stayed committed to openness and mutual benefits, remarked Sheng Laiyun, deputy head of the NBS.

China has devoted to protecting the multilateral trading system, opposing protectionism and unilateralism, promoting the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative and optimizing the pattern of regional cooperation, he added.

Chinese and African business representatives negotiate under B2B mode at an investment promotion conference between China and Africa held in Yiwu, Zhejiang province on February 28, 2019. (Photo by Gong Xianming, People’s Daily Online)

As a result, mutually beneficial cooperation for common development has been deepened, and the building of comprehensive opening up accelerated, Sheng said.

The total value of goods imported from and exported to countries along the Belt and Road was 8,365.7 billion yuan ($1,247.34 billion) in 2018, an increase of 13.3 percent over the previous year. Of the total, the value of goods exported grew 7.9 percent, and that of goods imported 20.9 percent.

Such progress was made thanks to China’s steps in further opening up and deepening reform, said Yang Changyong, an associate researcher from Chinese Academy of Macroeconomic Research.

A truck transfers imported cargos offloaded from freighters at a container terminal of Lianyungang Port, Jiangsu province on February 14, 2019. (Photo by Wang Chun, People’s Daily Online)

The country launched frequent major measures of reform and opening up last year against the twists and turns of economic globalization, Yang noted, adding that the frequency, coverage and intensity of these measures were rarely seen in recent years.

China has withstood the challenge of protectionism and fulfilled its foreign trade task with effective measures, he said. 

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