B&R Initiative contributes to two-digit growth of China's foreign trade in 2017

Ma Xin
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, 01 22, 2018
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BEIJING, Jan.22 (Xinhua) -- “In 2017, China's foreign trade volume soared by 14.2 percent, further improving in development quality and benefit,” said Huang Songping, the spokesman of the General Administration of Customs said on January 12.

Huang attributed the steady and positive development of China's foreign trade to multiple factors. Looking into 2018, he predicted that the internal and external markets would remain conducive to China's import and export trade, but it would be more difficult to maintain two-digit growth. “China's import and export is estimated to continue growing and improve in both quality and benefit this year,” Huang said, quoted by the Economic Daily.

-- Two-digit import & export growth achieved in 2017

Statistics showed that China achieved total imports and exports of goods at 27.79 trillion yuan (about 4.32 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2017, including exports of 15.33 trillion yuan (about 2.38 trillion U.S. dollars) and imports of 12.46 trillion yuan (about 1.94 trillion U.S. dollars), up 10.8 percent and 18.7 percent year on year respectively, reversing the negative growth for two consecutive years.

“In terms of quarters, China achieved imports and exports at 6.17 trillion yuan (about 958.49 billion U.S. dollars), 6.91 trillion yuan (about 1.07 trillion U.S. dollars), 7.17 trillion yuan (about 1.11 trillion U.S. dollars) and 7.54 trillion yuan (about 1.17 trillion U.S. dollars) in Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4, 2017 respectively, growing quarter by quarter. Meanwhile, the import and export structure continued to be optimized,” said Huang.

In terms of trade modes, China's general trade imports and exports grew by 16.8 percent in 2017, accounting for 56.4 percent of China's total imports and exports, 1.3 percentage higher year on year.

In terms of market subject, private enterprises still remained the largest exporter in 2017 with total export value at 7.13 trillion yuan (about 1.11 trillion U.S. dollars), up 12.3 percent year on year, accounting for 46.5 percent of China's total exports, according to statistics.

While China's import and export trade with its top three trade partners: EU, US and ASEAN grew simultaneously, China's trade with countries along the Belt and Road route remained a highlight and growth point of China's foreign trade.

In 2017, China's achieved imports and exports of 7.37 trillion yuan (about 1.14 trillion U.S. dollars) with countries along the Belt and Road routes, up 17.8 percent year on year, including exports of 4.3 trillion yuan (about 667.99 billion U.S. dollars) and imports of 3.07 trillion yuan (about 476.92 billion U.S. dollars), up 12.1 percent and 26.8 percent year on year respectively.

“In the next period, the customs will comprehensively deepen customs clearance cooperation with countries along the Belt and Road, take an active part in the making of international trade rules, practically improve the level of trade facilitation and speed up the cultivation of the new driving force for foreign trade development,” said Huang.

-- B&R Initiative contributes a lot to foreign trade

Amid the moderate recovery of the world economy and the steady and positive development of China's economy, driven by multiple factors, China's import and export trade has overcome two consecutive years’ negative growth to achieve two-digit restorative growth, said Huang.

“China implemented policy measures for import expansion including reducing tariffs on some commodities, perfected the financial and tax policies for import expansion, encouraged the import of advanced technical equipment and key components, and improved the level of trade facilitation, which had a positive impact on import expansion,” said Yang Changyong, an associate researcher at the Institute of International Economic Research, Chinese Academy of Macroeconomic Research.

The steady advancement of the Belt and Road Initiative contributed a lot to foreign trade growth. Meanwhile, China has effectively developed emerging markets including Latin America and Africa, with its import and export trade with the two regions up 22 percent and 17.3 percent year on year respectively.

“A series of national policy measures promoting the stable growth of foreign trade continued to show effects, the reform of streamlining administration, delegating powers, strengthening regulation and improving services was deepened gradually, domestic business environment improved constantly, enterprises' innovation ability was improved and the endogenous power of foreign trade development was strengthened, which are important reasons that foreign trade continued to recover in 2017,” said Huang.

--High-quality development of foreign trade still faces challenges

“In 2017, China's vehicle exports, computer exports and medical equipment exports grew by 27.2 percent, 16.6 percent and 10.3 percent respectively. The rapid growth of exports of these products with independent intellectual property rights, independent brands and independent marketing channels shows that China's foreign trade structure continued to optimize and the new advantage of foreign trade in international competition will gradually appear,” said Yang.

Compared to exports, China's imports grew more significantly. The imports of energy and resource products including crude oil, iron ore and natural gas grew steadily, up 10.1 percent, 5 percent and 26.9 percent respectively. The imports of some important equipment, key components and quality consumer goods grew rapidly, among which the import of integrated circuits, engines, numerical control machine tools, and aquatic and seawater products grew by 17.3 percent, 17.6 percent, 13.8 percent and 19.6 percent respectively.

In recent years, the Chinese government has laid equal emphasis on import and export, pressed ahead with the supply-side structural reform in foreign trade and achieved significant results. China has become a major driving force of world trade recovery, and promoted the transition from the stage of high-speed growth to the stage of high-quality development.

“Though China's foreign trade situation is good overall, there are still some uncertainties and instabilities in international economic trade, posing some challenges to the high-quality development of China's foreign trade,” said Huang. Deep-rooted and structural contradictions remain prominent worldwide, and may impact the recovery of the world economy and the stability of the financial market; global manufacturing competition has been intensified, some emerging market countries has attracted medium and high-end manufacturing industry and promoted its development by low cost, and developed economies’ implementation of economy rebalancing and reindustrialization has promoted the return of medium and high end manufacturing industry. Besides, the rise of global trade protectionism will put new pressure on China's foreign trade development.

“However, with the constant consolidation of the foundation of China's foreign trade, the potential of foreign trade development has been released gradually. In the next period, we should continue to promote progress while maintaining stability, adhere to the new development concept, press ahead with reforms steadily and make all-out efforts to promote the high-quality development of foreign trade,” said Huang.

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