Ministry mulls policies to boost foreign trade
Containers at a port in Qingdao, East China's Shandong province, on Jan 22, 2023. [Photo/VCG]
China is mulling new policy measures to support enterprises and stabilize foreign trade growth, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
Shu Jueting, a spokeswoman for the ministry, said at a news conference on Thursday that the ministry and relevant government departments are jointly working on introducing new policies to improve the scale and quality of foreign trade, based on findings from extensive research and surveys.
"The country's foreign trade faces severe external challenges and uncertainties," she said, citing the recent Government Work Report that identified concerns such as high-level global inflation, weakening global economic growth and more containment and suppressive moves against China by some countries.
However, she said, "we are confident that the country is capable of maintaining the growth momentum in foreign trade to inject more support to the overall economic recovery".
The new policies will help fulfill enterprises' and local governments' needs to boost foreign trade, Shu said.
Her remarks came as latest data showed 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. The data reflects the strong resilience of China's foreign trade, Shu said.
The trade value, well above 6 trillion yuan, is the second highest in history over the same period, while the trade quality has achieved improvement with private enterprises showing more vitality, trade ties with emerging markets getting strengthened, and exports of high-tech and high-value-added products surging, she added.
Experts said that despite challenges, China's exports are expected to keep growing this year.
Ning Jizhe, vice-chairman of the Economic Affairs Committee of the 14th Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National Committee, said 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, who is also vice-chairman of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges.
"China is capable of turning challenges facing its exports into opportunities," he said, adding that this is because China has a complete industrial chain system and energetic foreign trade market entities, which can flexibly adjust their products and services to adapt to external changes.
Shu, the spokeswoman, revealed 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. Its 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, compared with 1.18 million square meters previously. There will be 54 professional exhibition areas, and more than 30,000 enterprises have signed up for offline participation.
In response to media inquiries on coal imports from Australia, Shu said that China implements automatic licensing management for such imports, and the licenses can be applied for normally.
China is willing to communicate with Australia on technical issues to seek win-win solutions, she said, adding that Australia should meet China halfway and provide fair, open and nondiscriminatory business environment for Chinese enterprises in Australia.