China upbeat about 2019 foreign trade growth: MOC

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BEIJING, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- China is confident in its ability to keep foreign trade growth stable while improving its quality this year despite greater external uncertainties, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said Thursday.

"The development of China's foreign trade remains on a strong and solid foundation," MOC spokesperson Gao Feng told a news conference.

The confidence derives from deepening supply-side structural reform, improvement in the country's foreign trade structure and increasing internal impetus to growth, Gao said.

The ministry has unveiled a list of 30 key markets for foreign trade expansion this year, which will see China actively tap into the potential of emerging and developing economies related to the Belt and Road Initiative while continuing to explore the traditional markets in developed countries.

Gao said the ministry will offer enterprises greater support including trade promotion, public information services and government institutional safeguards for trade market diversification.

"We will roll out more measures in a targeted and timely manner to help foreign trade firms turn challenges into opportunities and achieve innovational development," Gao said.

Commenting on the decline of China's foreign trade growth in December, Gao said the growth in the fourth quarter was still within reasonable range despite the monthly fluctuation.

"The fluctuation was mainly caused by weaker demand in the international market and a high basis the previous year," he said.

China's import and export volume hit a historic high of 30.51 trillion yuan (about 4.5 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2018, up 9.7 percent year-on-year, official data showed.

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