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China's trade increases 800% over 20 years

China's foreign trade in goods skyrocketed by more than 800% over the two decades since the country joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

China SCIOUpdated:  January 14, 2022

Since China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, the country's foreign trade in goods skyrocketed by more than 800%, according to its customs data released at a press conference Friday. 

The foreign trade volume rose from 4.22 trillion yuan in 2001 to 39.1 trillion yuan in 2021, surpassing the US$6 trillion mark for the first time last year, said Li Kuiwen, spokesperson of the General Administration of Customs.

The recent 10 years in particular saw a significant growth. From 2012 to 2021, total goods trade increased by 14.7 trillion yuan, which is equivalent to the total trade volume of 2009. 

In 2013, China became the largest goods trader in the world.

The milestone entry into the WTO also boosted China's presence in the global market, as its global share of market jumped from 4% in 2001 to 13.5% in the first three quarters of 2021, Li said.

In the past 20 years, China expanded into emerging markets across the world, while also cementing trade ties with other major markets. In 2021, its trade with ASEAN, Africa, Latin America, Russia, and India accounted for a combined 30.7% of the total, and its trade with the EU, the U.S., Japan, and the Republic of Korea amounted to 38.3% of all foreign trade. 

ASEAN has been China's largest trading partner for two consecutive years, with the trade volume accounting for 14.5% of China's total foreign trade in 2021.