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Monday, December 4, 2023

China mulls new policies to stabilize foreign trade amid external challenges

BusinessChina mulls new policies to stabilize foreign trade amid external challenges

China is taking steps to support its enterprises and stabilize foreign trade growth, according to the Ministry of Commerce. Shu Jueting, a spokeswoman for the ministry, announced during a news conference on Thursday that the ministry and relevant government departments are working together to introduce new policies aimed at improving the scale and quality of foreign trade, based on findings from extensive research and surveys.

In light of external challenges and uncertainties, the country’s foreign trade is facing significant obstacles. This is according to the recent Government Work Report, which highlights concerns such as high-level global inflation, weakening global economic growth, and more containment and suppressive moves against China by some countries.

Despite the challenges, Shu expressed confidence that China is capable of maintaining the growth momentum in foreign trade and injecting more support to the overall economic recovery. The new policies being introduced will help fulfill the needs of enterprises and local governments to boost foreign trade.

Recent data shows that China’s foreign trade in goods was valued at 6.18 trillion yuan ($896 billion) in the first two months of the year, declining 0.8 percent year-on-year. However, Shu said that the data reflects the strong resilience of China’s foreign trade. She noted that the trade value is the second-highest in history over the same period, and the trade quality has improved with private enterprises showing more vitality, trade ties with emerging markets getting strengthened, and exports of high-tech and high-value-added products surging.

Experts predict that despite the challenges, China’s exports will continue to grow this year. Ning Jizhe, vice-chairman of the Economic Affairs Committee of the 14th Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference National Committee, stated that there is still plenty of room for China’s exports to grow.

“To stabilize export growth, it is important for China to produce and export products the world really needs,” said Ning. “China is capable of turning challenges facing its exports into opportunities,” he added, highlighting China’s complete industrial chain system and energetic foreign trade market entities, which can flexibly adjust their products and services to adapt to external changes.

Shu also announced that the next China Import and Export Fair, also known as the 133rd Canton Fair, will be held offline in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, from April 15 to May 5. The online platform will also be operated to provide all-day services to participants. The combined size of the trade fair’s exhibition areas will be expanded to a new high of 1.5 million square meters, and there will be 54 professional exhibition areas. Over 30,000 enterprises have already signed up for offline participation.

Finally, in response to media inquiries on coal imports from Australia, Shu stated that China implements automatic licensing management for such imports, and the licenses can be applied for normally. She added that China is willing to communicate with Australia on technical issues to seek win-win solutions, and that Australia should meet China halfway and provide a fair, open, and nondiscriminatory business environment for Chinese enterprises in Australia.

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