Ex­porters to see bet­ter days as de­mand rises

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS VIEWS - By LI JI­ABAO li­ji­abao@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China’s for­eign trade is likely to grow faster next year as over­seas de­mand im­proves, ex­perts said.

The con­sen­sus fore­cast is for to­tal trade growth of up to 10 per­cent. In the worst-case sce­nario, to­tal trade may only ex­pand about 8 per­cent, equal to this year.

China is the world’s largest ex­porter and sec­ond- largest im­porter.

Al­though the im­prove­ment of over­all for­eign trade will not be hugely sig­nif­i­cant next year, the growth pace will still out­strip the world av­er­age.

Wei Jianguo, vice-chair­man of the China Center of In­ter­na­tional Eco­nomic Ex­changes, a gov­ern­ment think tank, said: “For­eign trade may ex­pand 10 per­cent next year, if the gov­ern­ment pro­vides pow­er­ful sup­port.”

Huo Jianguo, pres­i­dent of the Chi­nese Academy of In­ter­na­tional Trade and Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion, a think tank of the Min­istry of Com­merce, said that “China’s for­eign trade in 2014 will be slightly bet­ter than this year, with over­all trade grow­ing 8 to 9 per­cent and ex­ports con­tin­u­ing


to out­pace im­ports”.

Long Guo­qiang, a re­searcher at the De­vel­op­ment Re­search Center of the State Coun­cil, said that “over­all trade will grow at the same pace as this year. It will be very sat­is­fac­tory if ex­ports could rise 8 per­cent next year”.

A re­port from the State In­for­ma­tion Center said on Dec 2 that China’s over­all trade in 2014 will grow at the same pace as this year, with ex­ports ex­pand­ing 9 per­cent and im­ports in­creas­ing 7.5 per­cent, yield­ing a full-year trade sur­plus of $310 bil­lion.

Ear­lier this year, the gov­ern­ment set an 8 per­cent trade growth tar­get for 2013. The for­eign trade of the world’s sec­ond-largest econ­omy ex­panded 6.2 per­cent year-on-year in 2012, miss­ing the gov­ern­ment’s 10 per­cent tar­get.

To­tal for­eign trade went up 7.7 per­cent to $3.77 tril­lion in the Jan­uary-Novem­ber pe­riod, ac­cord­ing to the Gen­eral Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Cus­toms. Ex­ports in­creased 8.3 per­cent to $2 tril­lion and im­ports rose 7.1 per­cent to $ 1.77 tril­lion, yield­ing a trade sur­plus of $234.15 bil­lion.

The In­ter­na­tional Mone­tary Fund pro­jected in Oc­to­ber that world trade will grow 4.9 per­cent in 2014, com­pared with 2.9 per­cent this year.

“Over­seas de­mand won’t show a big im­prove­ment next year. But moves to fol­low up on the Third Plenum’s com­pre­hen­sive re­form plan, such as sup­port for cus­toms pro­ce­dures, loans and insurance, will give a force­ful boost to ex­ports.

“At present, it’s cru­cial for Chi­nese ex­porters to re­tain their over­seas mar­ket shares, be­cause re­gain­ing those po­si­tions will be very dif­fi­cult once lost,” said Wei, who’s also a guest econ­o­mist of China Daily.

“For­eign trade in 2014 will be slightly bet­ter than this year. The gov­ern­ment will sta­bi­lize the growth of ex­ports and im­ports with dif­fer­ent mea­sures, while speed­ing up the trans­for­ma­tion and up­grad­ing of the na­tion’s trade.

An­a­lysts cau­tioned that the over­state­ment of trade fig­ures in the first half of this year, caused by the in­flow of spec­u­la­tive funds dis­guised as trade pay­ments, was likely to have re­curred in Novem­ber.

“The gov­ern­ment warned of po­ten­tial dif­fi­cul­ties when set­ting this year’s trade growth tar­get. The ex­ter­nal en­vi­ron­ment is ac­tu­ally bet­ter than pre­dicted,” Huo said.

“In 2014, an eco­nomic re­cov­ery in de­vel­oped coun­tries, driven mostly by cur­rency de­val­u­a­tion, will mean re­duced de­mand for Chi­nese prod­ucts. In in­ter­na­tional mar­kets, Chi­nese en­ter­prises are fac­ing in­creas­ing com­pe­ti­tion from emerg­ing economies,” Long said.

Wei added that trade fric­tion with the United States and Euro­pean Union, as well as emerg­ing economies, is chok­ing off some Chi­nese ex­ports.

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