2019 for­eign trade up 3.4% as Amer­i­can im­ports rise

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHONG NAN zhong­[email protected]­nadaily.com.cn

In­creased im­ports from the United States will not re­duce China’s im­port vol­ume from other coun­tries, af­ter the sign­ing of the first-phase eco­nomic and trade agree­ment be­tween China and the US, a se­nior cus­toms of­fi­cial said on Tues­day.

China has a large and di­ver­si­fied mar­ket and Sino-US trade will make new progress on the ba­sis of mu­tual ben­e­fit af­ter the sign­ing of the agree­ment, which will help the two coun­tries and the whole world, Zou Zhiwu, vice-min­is­ter of the Gen­eral Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Cus­toms, said at a news con­fer­ence in Bei­jing.

Im­ports from the US saw a re­cov­ery in growth from Novem­ber to De­cem­ber. In par­tic­u­lar, US shipments to China rose 9.1 per­cent year-on-year to 78.83 bil­lion yuan ($11.46 bil­lion) in De­cem­ber.

Ex­ports of US agri­cul­tural prod­ucts to China reached 14.1 bil­lion yuan last month, jump­ing 200 per­cent year-on-year, while China im­ported 23,000 au­to­mo­biles from the US, an in­crease of 150 per­cent from the same pe­riod a year ear­lier.

The of­fi­cial made the re­marks as a Chi­nese del­e­ga­tion, led by VicePremie­r Liu He, ar­rived in Wash­ing­ton for the sign­ing of a phaseone trade agree­ment at the White House, sched­uled for Wed­nes­day.

The Sino-US trade ten­sion has not only put pres­sure on do­mes­tic man­u­fac­tur­ers, but also caused dif­fi­cul­ties for other global com­pa­nies trad­ing with the US, he said.

Af­fected by the 22-month-long bi­lat­eral trade tus­sle, Sino-US trade fell by 10.7 per­cent to 3.73 tril­lion yuan in 2019.

Although China’s ex­ports to the US have de­clined, do­mes­tic busi­nesses have made no­table progress in ex­port­ing to new mar­kets in other parts of the world, Zou said, stress­ing that the coun­try’s for­eign trade re­mains re­silient as the na­tional econ­omy re­mains on track.

China’s for­eign trade vol­ume stood at 31.54 tril­lion yuan in 2019, grow­ing 3.4 per­cent year-on-year, ac­cord­ing to the GAC data.

The coun­try’s ex­ports rose 5 per­cent to 17.23 tril­lion yuan and im­ports grew by 1.6 per­cent to 14.31 tril­lion yuan last year, while its trade sur­plus in­creased by 25.4 per­cent to 2.92 tril­lion yuan.

In the mean­time, the Euro­pean Union, the As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions, the US and Ja­pan re­mained China’s top four trad­ing part­ners.

In ad­di­tion to the ac­cel­er­ated ne­go­ti­a­tion pace of the Re­gional Com­pre­hen­sive Eco­nomic Part­ner­ship and free trade agree­ment among China, Ja­pan and South Korea, China should seal more free trade deals with economies re­lated to the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive, said Wei Jian­guo, vice-chair­man of the China Cen­ter for In­ter­na­tional Eco­nomic Ex­changes. China can also fur­ther boost bi­lat­eral trade with Rus­sia through en­hanced en­ergy and farm prod­uct trade, he said.

China’s trade with economies re­lated to the BRI reached 9.27 tril­lion yuan last year, up by 10.8 per­cent yearon-year, 7.4 per­cent­age points higher than its over­all trade vol­ume growth.

The ex­panded trade has ben­e­fited en­ter­prises in both China and economies re­lated to the BRI.

Yadea Tech­nol­ogy Group Co Ltd, a ma­jor man­u­fac­turer of twowheeled elec­tric ve­hi­cles, or EVs, is one of Chi­nese firms that are keen to grow their global sales by adding new stores, plants and dis­trib­u­tors in mar­kets par­tic­i­pat­ing in the BRI.

Many op­por­tu­ni­ties come from a num­ber of coun­tries in­clud­ing Ger­many, South Korea, In­dia and In­done­sia, where there is an on­go­ing ef­fort to cut en­ergy use and pol­lu­tion, and pur­sue sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment, said Dong Jing­gui, chair­man of Yadea, a ma­jor pro­ducer of elec­tric bikes based in Wuxi, Jiangsu prov­ince.

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