Weak world conditions to curb trade growth in 2011

Updated: 2011-08-24 09:20

By Lan Lan (China Daily)

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Emerging economies to help offset problems in the developed markets

Weak world conditions to curb trade growth in 2011

A production line of High Fashion (China) Co Ltd in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province. China will record a trade surplus for the full year, but the figure will be lower than last year's $183 billion, according to Nomura Holdings Inc. [Photo / Provided to China Daily] 

BEIJING - China's foreign trade is unlikely to grow as fast in 2011 as it did last year due to weakening global demand and rising costs, Vice-Minister of Commerce Jiang Yaoping said on Tuesday.

The country's trade grew by a robust 34.7 percent in 2010.

"China's imports and exports will be seriously influenced, as the global economy's growth momentum is weakening under various pressures, including the spreading debt crises and increasing inflationary pressure," Jiang said at a news conference.

Despite these challenges, China will maintain slower but smooth growth, mainly driven by the relatively rapid development of emerging economies, which will provide favorable conditions for China's trade growth, he said.

In the first seven months, China's trade with emerging markets grew faster than that of developed economies. Trade with South Africa surged by 86.6 percent year-on-year, while trade with Brazil rose by 38.6 percent.

China's trade balance is expected to further improve as import growth will keep outpacing that of exports in the remaining months of the year, he said.

In the first seven months, import growth hit 26.9 percent, 3.5 percentage points higher than the growth of exports.

Smaller surplus

China will record a trade surplus for the full year, but the figure will be smaller than last year's $183 billion, even though the trade surplus widened to $31.5 billion in July from $22.3 billion in June, according to a report from Nomura Holdings Inc.

"Our trade policy is to achieve a trade balance instead of pursuing a trade surplus," said Wen Zhongliang, deputy head of the foreign trade department of the Ministry of Commerce.

China will seek to expand imports by using various means including re-adjusting its import tax policies, said Wen.

China lowered import tariffs on 673 items, such as refined oil, in the first half.

Li Jian, an economist of a think tank under the Ministry of Commerce, said that the external economic environment would have a significant effect on China's trade.

"It depends on how the intensified concerns in major trading partners" hurt confidence, Li said.

Research by Consumer Edge Research LLC, a US equity research company, on Monday showed consumer confidence in the United States dropped to its lowest level since March 2010. The US Consumer Economic Index is at 45.4, down 10 percentage points from July, according to the report.


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