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SCIO press conference on China's imports and exports in 2022

China.org.cn | January 20, 2023


Xing Huina:

Thanks, Mr. Lyu, for your introduction. Now we will open the floor for questions. Please identify the media outlet you represent before raising questions.

Phoenix TV:

Last year, China maintained steady growth in foreign trade. What are the main driving factors? What are your expectations for foreign trade this year? Thank you.

Lyu Daliang:

Thank you for your questions. In 2022, facing the challenges of multiple factors that exceeded expectations, China's foreign trade achieved steady growth based on a high base number in 2021. Its annual volume topped 40 trillion yuan (about 5.94 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2022 for the first time, which made positive contributions to stable and sound economic development. In our view, the main factors driving the growth are as follows:

First, export markets expanded, and major products maintained sufficient competitive advantages. From a market perspective, in 2022, China's export to the ASEAN, the EU, and other major trading partners maintained rapid growth. Thanks to the accelerated expansion of emerging markets, China's export to countries along the Belt and Road rose by 20%, driving overall export growth by 6.1 percentage points. Exports to Africa and Latin America increased by 14.8% and 14.1%, respectively. From a product perspective, China's exports of industrial products increased by 9.9% in 2022, driving overall export growth by 9.4 percentage points. Exports of labor-intensive products maintained rapid growth, and the export growth rate of green and low-carbon products, such as solar cells, lithium batteries, and electric vehicles, surpassed 60%. New drivers of export growth increased rapidly. According to the latest data, China's share of global exports is estimated to reach 14.7%, topping the world for 14 consecutive years.

Second, imports were underpinned by the huge domestic demand. In 2022, the country took into account both domestic and international dynamics, coordinated COVID response with economic and social developments, and balanced development and security. As a result, China's economy saw steady and sound development, with its major economic indicators, such as value-added of industrial enterprises above the designated size and fixed-asset investment, rising continuously, which provided strong support for import growth. In 2022, exports of intermediate goods increased by 7.5%, driving overall import growth by 5.9 percentage points. In addition, high global commodity prices also contributed to the growth of import values to some extent.

Third, supportive policies injected a strong internal impetus for foreign trade development. In 2022, the Chinese government carried out a package of policies and follow-up measures to stabilize the economy. In the field of foreign trade, they included ensuring access to foreign trade, increasing fiscal, tax, and financial support, encouraging new forms of foreign trade, supporting foreign trade enterprises in securing orders and expanding markets, and improving trade security and facilitation. As the efficacy of these policies and measures continues to be unleashed, the vitality of China's foreign trade entities has been stimulated. In 2022, the number of enterprises involved in imports and exports increased by 5.6% compared with the previous year. The three major foreign trade entities -- private, foreign-invested, and state-owned enterprises -- gave full play to their respective advantages, and their import and export operations remained sound.

As for the trend of foreign trade, I have mentioned that we still face many difficulties and challenges. At the same time, our economy is expected to realize an overall recovery this year, and foreign trade development will enjoy many favorable conditions, so maintaining the scale and optimizing the structure of foreign trade have a solid basis. Thank you. 

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