Strong China-US trade and investment links

Updated: 2014-01-02 04:12

By Li Jiabao (China Daily)

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Strong China-US trade and investment links

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang shakes hands with US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker during the latest China-US Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade held in Beijing from Dec 19 to 20, 2013. Wu Zhiyi / China Daily

As the Chinese and US economies are increasingly intertwined, some remarkable highlights have emerged in economic ties between the world's top two economies, experts said.

China's imports from the US outpaced its exports to the country and Chinese investment growth in the US outstripped US investment growth in China.

The renminbi is becoming more internationalized and not forced to appreciate, said Zhou Shijian, a senior researcher at the Center for US-China Relations at Tsinghua University.

Jia Xiudong, a researcher on international affairs at the China Institute of International Studies, said China's key areas for economic reform will grow into new opportunities in China-US economic cooperation. He urged closer collaboration in environmental protection, clean energy, finance and urbanization.

At November's Third Plenum, China pledged to reduce the government's role in the economy, free up interest rates and let markets play a decisive role.

In 2012, the US was China's second-largest trade partner and largest export market. Bilateral trade rose 8.5 percent year-on-year to $484.7 billion, about 12.5 percent of China's overall trade, according to the General Administration of Customs.

China's exports expanded 8.4 percent to $351.8 billion and its imports grew 8.8 percent to $132.9 billion.

The first 11 months of this year saw China-US trade increase 7.6 percent to $472.1 billion. Chinese exports rose 4.9 percent to $335.1 billion and imports were up 14.9 percent to $137 billion, according to figures from the customs agency.

Wei Jianguo, a vice-chairman of the China Center of International Economic Exchanges and a China Daily guest economist, said that the US is likely to soon replace the European Union as China's largest trade partner as China-EU trade edged up just 1.8 percent year-on-year to $506 billion in the January-November period.

China and the US held the 24th China-US Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade from Dec 19 to 20 in Beijing.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang called economic cooperation the ballast of China-US relations.

He said both sides should tap the potential for further cooperation, respect each other's core interests and major concerns, properly handle differences and seek sound and steady growth in bilateral relations, according to Xinhua News Agency.

Li said he expects the US to relax restrictions on high-tech exports to China while providing a good investment environment for Chinese businesses.

US restrictions on high-tech exports to China were largely responsible for the trade imbalance between the two economies, experts said.

China's non-financial outward direct investment in the US jumped by 232 percent year-on-year in the first 11 months, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

In September, China's Shuanghui International took over US pork giant Smithfield Foods for $7.1 billion, the largest-ever Chinese acquisition of a US company.

US non-financial direct investment in China rose 8.6 percent year-on-year to $3.16 billion in the January-November period, according to the ministry.

US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker said during the JCCT meeting that "clearly we are entering a moment of opportunity in the US-China relationship. We should seize this moment to take both short-term and long-term steps that show we will pursue a balanced and ever-growing trade and investment relationship."

Bloomberg contributed to this story.