Ex­pand­ing Im­ports

Ori­en­tal Out­look Novem­ber 22

Beijing Review - - THIS WEEK PEOPLE & POINTS -

At the start of re­form and open­ing up, China had a weak in­dus­trial foun­da­tion. Its in­dus­trial chain, tech­nol­ogy and man­age­ment pro­cesses were lag­ging be­hind de­vel­oped coun­tries. It was only through ex­pand­ing im­ports that China man­aged to as­cer­tain ad­vanced tech­nolo­gies and equip­ment to im­prove its own in­dus­trial devel­op­ment ca­pac­ity.

From 1978 to 2017, China’s im­port mar­ket ex­pe­ri­enced re­mark­able growth, with the an­nual to­tal im­port vol­ume in­creas­ing from 18.7 bil­lion yuan ($2.7 bil­lion) to 12.5 tril­lion yuan ($1.8 tril­lion), an av­er­age rise of 18.1 per­cent year on year.

As the Chi­nese econ­omy con­tin­ues to grow, its role in global trade has un­der­gone pro­found changes, with the coun­try be­com­ing an im­por­tant mar­ket for global trade.

Ac­cord­ing to sta­tis­tics from the World Bank, the share of China’s im­ported goods and ser­vices in the global im­port mar­ket in­creased from 8.4 per­cent in 2011 to 9.7 per­cent in 2016. While the share of the three ma­jor economies, the United States, the Eu­ro­zone and Ja­pan, de­clined by 0.4 per­cent­age points dur­ing the same pe­riod. China’s im­port mar­ket plays a sta­bi­liz­ing role in many re­gions, which is cru­cial to fu­el­ing eco­nomic growth.

China’s at­ti­tude to­ward im­ports has

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