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China's foreign trade shows good growth despite surging global uncertainties

(People's Daily Online)    14:25, August 16, 2019


China's total exports and imports this July represented the highest monthly level since the beginning of the year, while the country's national economy maintained relatively stable growth and enjoyed good momentum, said the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Wednesday.

Despite a worsening global economy and trade risks and uncertainties, China's imports and exports this July amounted to over 2.7 trillion yuan (about $389.9 billion), up 5.7 percent year-on-year, according to NBS statistics.

China's imports and exports from the first seven months of this year totaled about 17.4 trillion yuan, rising by 4.2 percent from the previous year, and the growth rate of China's total imports and exports in July was 2.6 percentage points higher than that of previous months, reaching a new high since May, according to the NBS.

Chinese exports in the first seven months of this year amounted to around 9.5 trillion yuan, up 6.7 percent year-on-year, with the value of exports in July reaching more than 1.5 trillion yuan, which, while representing a 10.3 percent year-on-year growth and 4.3 percentage points increase from the previous month, was also the highest monthly value since the beginning of 2019.

Imports amounted to about 1.2 trillion yuan this July, indicating a 0.4 percent growth from the previous year and a new high since February, while China's total imports in the first seven months grew by 1.3 percent from last year to more than 7.9 trillion yuan.

In the first seven months of this year, China has witnessed continuous improvement in facilitation of trade with countries along the routes of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), with the volume of trade between China and these countries growing by 10.2 percent, making up 2.8 percentage points of the country's total foreign trade.

Besides, compared with the previous year, China's volume of trade with its traditional trading partners, the European Union (EU) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), rose by 10.8 percent and 11.3 percent respectively in the first seven months of 2019.

Moreover, China's volume of trade with its 25 trading partners who signed free trade agreements increased by 3.8 percent in the first half of this year.

In addition, the endogenous driving force in China has gained momentum over the first half of this year. As shown by official statistics, the number of private Chinese enterprises with import and export records reached 336,000 in the first six months of 2019, 8.5 percent more than during the same period last year.

Imports and exports of Chinese private companies in the first seven months grew by 11.8 percent from the previous year and accounted for 42 percent of the country's total volume of foreign trade. The proportion is 2.9 percentage points higher compared with the same period last year.

The structure of China's imports and exports has been increasingly optimized, with exports of mechanical and electrical products increasing by 6.1 percent in the first seven months of this year, of which hi-tech, high-quality, and high value-added exports of China witnessed double-digit growth while imports of premium consumer goods increased significantly.

China has achieved a hard-won result amid global trade problems, due to the escalation of protectionism and unilateralism. In the World Economic Outlook Report of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) updated in July, the IMF lowered its world trade volume growth forecast in 2019 to 2.5 percent, the lowest of the most recent three years, and far below the 3.7 percent growth of last year.

Against the backdrop of downward global economic pressure, China's foreign trade still maintains stable growth, which shows the resilience of the Chinese economy, said Zhang Jianping, director of the Research Center for Regional Economic Cooperation of the Institute of International Trade and Economic Cooperation of China's Ministry of Commerce (MOC).

With the implementation of a series of policies to stabilize foreign trade, various measures aiming to diversify and liberalize trade have produced positive results, said Liu Aihua, spokesperson of the NBS, noting that both the export figures of July and the first seven months of the year as a whole were generally good, which proved that the impact of economic and trade frictions between China and the U.S. are overall controllable.

"The improvement in the quality aspect of foreign trade since the beginning of this year is comforting," said Zhang, explaining that China has seen actual achievements this year, including growing general trade competitiveness, a significant increase in high-tech products exports, private companies becoming the main driving force for the country's foreign trade, and continually expanding trading partners.

"Chinese foreign trade features large size, great resilience, and sound momentum. What we rely on are the complete domestic industrial chain, the enormous domestic market, the diversity of the global market, the sufficient endogenous driving force, and continuous optimization of structure," said Zhu Yong, deputy director of the department of foreign trade of the MOC. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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