Ministry says trade growth needs help to reach 7.5%

Updated: 2014-08-19 10:51

By Mu Chen in Beijing(China Daily USA)

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China's economic data for July suggests foreign trade activity is recovering, but still faces pressure to meet the annual foreign trade target, the Ministry of Commerce said on Monday.

Shen Danyang, spokesman for the Ministry, said a 14.5 percent jump in July exports signaled that foreign trade has recovered but that there is still a need for measures designed to help attain the 7.5 percent trade growth figure.

Policies carried out in the first half of the year boosted the confidence of Chinese exporters, Shen said.

"The confidence of Chinese companies is very important," he said. "There was a period when confidence was low, but recently, with the introduction of new policies, along with supporting measures, as well as other factors, the companies' confidence has "visibly recovered".

The continued recovery of the world economy and rising demand of the global market also played big roles. Exports to the European Union rose by 17.4 percent and exports to the United States rose by 12.3 percent in July.

Other factors included the strong export performance of private enterprises and increased competitiveness of certain industries and products, such as electromechanical and high-tech products, Shen said.

In July, exports surged by 14.5 percent to $212.9 billion, and imports dropped by 1.6 percent to $165.6 billion, resulting in a record trade surplus of $47.3 billion.

Meanwhile, total imports and exports in the January-July period increased by 2 percent to $2.4 trillion, with exports climbing by 3 percent to $1.28 trillion and imports by 1 percent to $1.12 trillion.

The government's annual trade growth target for 2014 of about 7.5 percent dropped from the 8 percent targeted in 2013 when China surpassed the US to become the world's top trading nation.

But the Ministry of Commerce spokesman said obstacles remain in achieving China's trade growth target for 2014. "At present, exports are still constrained by instability in the recovery of global demand, increased trade frictions, the fact that China's new competitive edge has not been fully established and we are still under great pressure if we are to achieve our annual target," Shen said.

Zhang Jianping, a researcher at the Institute for International Economic Research at the National Development and Reform Commission, said policy measures in the first half of the year have had a positive effect on trade.

"However, China will be under great pressure to achieve its target; not only are there uncertainties in the global markets, especially with the ongoing crisis with regards to Ukraine and Russia, but there is also the inherent difficulty of growing by 7.5 percent when the volume of trade is already so large."