China was world's second-largest trader in 2012

Updated: 2013-04-12 16:58

By Li Jiabao (

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China was the world's second-largest merchandise trader in 2012, second only to the United States by just $15 billion, the People's Daily reported on Wednesday citing a report from the World Trade Organization.

China's total merchandise trade was worth $3.867 trillion in 2012, with exports of $2.049 trillion and imports of $1.818 trillion.

"China's growth should continue to outpace other leading economies, cushioning the slowdown, but exports will still be constrained by weak demand in Europe," the WTO report said on April 10.

World trade growth fell to 2.0 percent in 2012 - down from 5.2 percent in 2011 - and is expected to remain sluggish in 2013 at around 3.3 percent as the economic slowdown in Europe continues to suppress global import demand, the WTO report added.