Growing foreign trade shows China's economic resilience

Source: Xinhua| 2021-12-17 00:09:27|Editor: huaxia

Aerial photo taken on Oct. 13, 2021 shows the container ship Libra of China's COSCO Shipping at Shanghai Yangshan Port, east China. (Xinhua/Fang Zhe)

BEIJING, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) -- Against COVID-19 headwinds, China's foreign trade has come under global spotlight this year with better-than-expected growth due to strong impetus from innovation and enhanced economic resilience.

In the first 11 months of this year, total imports and exports expanded 22 percent year on year to 35.39 trillion yuan (5.55 trillion U.S. dollars), beating the figure of 2020.

Chinese ports have been bustling through the year with cargo throughput totaling 12.87 billion tonnes in the first 10 months, up 7.8 percent year on year, while China-Europe freight train service recorded more than 40,000 trips, becoming a crucial link to support countries in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.

The stellar performance of the world's second largest economy added vitality to global economic activities as an abundant market contributed 14.8 percent to the global import growth in the first half of 2021.

The figure stood out among major economies that have struggled due to supply bottlenecks and vulnerable trade activities due to the blow from the pandemic, which is wreaking havoc across the world with new variant Omicron.

Successful containment of the pandemic and China's strong manufacturing system have continued to sustain the country's rapid economic recovery, said Liu Yuanchun, vice president of Renmin University of China (RUC).

The country has overcome the negative impacts of the virus and leveraged its advantages in complete supply chains and sound foundation of manufacturing industry, filling the gap between global supply and demand, said Ren Hongbin, vice minister of commerce.

Improvements were not only seen in the growth rate of foreign trade but also in its structure, as exports of high-quality, high-tech and high value-added products expanded rapidly, and private enterprises have taken a larger share of 57.6 percent in the total exports value during the Jan.-Oct. period.

"It indicated that the endogenous impetus for trade development is growing," said Wang Xiaosong, a research fellow with the National Academy of Development and Strategy under RUC.

Wang added that innovation concerning technologies and business forms played an important role in pushing high-quality development of foreign trade.

New business forms and models have seen rapid expansion with the cross-border e-commerce volume soaring tenfold in the past five years, while the total area of overseas warehouses topped 16 million square meters, according to the Ministry of Commerce (MOC).

Goodcang, an overseas warehouse firm owned by Chinese logistics network provider Zongteng Group, has built a cross border e-commerce logistics network covering more than 30 countries, said Li Cong, vice president of Zongteng Group. Warehouses operated by the firm exceeded one million square meters as at March this year.

Through trade platforms including the Canton Fair and the China International Import Expo, enterprises have gained opportunities to tap into markets both at home and abroad, said Ren.

Looking forward, challenges are no lightweight. More uncertainties come from resurgence of COVID-19 cases, high prices of bulk materials, supply bottlenecks and energy shortage, said an MOC report.

The prospect of global economic recovery has faded amid mounting pressure as the International Monetary Fund said in October that the growth of the world economy will moderate to 5.9 percent, down by 0.1 percentage points from July's forecast.

To address these challenges, Ren said the country will take more measures involving cross-cyclical adjustment, the structure of goods trade, new modes of foreign trade and better risk control system to help firms navigate difficulties and meet their needs.

Foreign trade will maintain stable growth due to stronger resilience, more vitality of market entities and policy support from high-level opening up, said the MOC report.

Taking into account factors including the gap between worldwide supply and demand and huge uncertainty brought in by the Omicron variant, the country's exports are expected to be resilient in the first half of next year, said a research team with CITIC Securities.

KEY WORDS: China,Foreign Trade,Resilience