It has been reported by the General Administration of Customs (GAC) that the value of China's 2017 foreign trade rose 14.2% year on year to RMB27.79 trillion (USD4.28 trillion) bringing to an end the previous two yearly consecutive declines.
China's exports increased 10.8% to RMB 15.33 trillion while imports surged 18.7% to RMB12.46 trillion in 2017. The trade surplus continued to narrow last year, shrinking 14% to RMB 2.87 trillion compared to the 9%t reduction registered in 2016.
Analysts attributed improved exports to growth in the global economy as well as steady domestic economic expansion, rising commodity prices and increased trade with countries along the Belt and Road routes.
The European Union, the United States and ASEAN are the top three trading partners and 2017 exports to the United States rose 15% year on year. Chinese private enterprises now play a bigger role in trade.
Expanding trade along the ‘Belt and Road’ routes
China’s foreign trade with countries along the route of the ‘Belt and Road’ in 2017 rose 18% to RMB7.37, up 3.6% over growth of total national foreign trade. Trade to these markets now accounts for 26.5% of the national total value of foreign trade.
According to a GAC spokesperson, the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative countries have shared in the benefits in five areas; policy coordination, connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration and people-to-people bonds.
It is expected that China’s trade with countries along ‘Belt and Road’ will continue to be the highlight and growth point of China's foreign trade.
Diversification of trade partners
China’s trade partners have become more diversified in recent years. In 2017 China’s trade with traditional markets such as Europe, the USA and Japan rose 15% year on year. However, emerging markets such as Latin America and Africa grew 22% and 17.3% respectively.
Bilateral trade between China and Australia has been increasing rapidly in recent years. The total value of foreign trade between China and Australia surged 29% to RMB92341 billion, some 15% higher than the national growth rate. Of the total, the value of exports to Australia rose 1.39% to RMB280.56 billion while imports from Australia increased 37% in 2017.
China: Foreign trade up 14.2% in 2017
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