China's foreign trade stability to the good "spring" (hot focus)

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On April 12, two foreign merchants purchased daily ceramic products in Fujian Dehua XieGuang Yang Pottery Co., Ltd.

There are more than 2600 ceramic enterprises in Dehua County, Quanzhou City, Fujian Province. In 2016, the output value of ceramics was 19.95 billion yuan, of which 13.764 billion yuan was exported to 190 countries and regions including Thailand and France.

Photo by Xinhua News Agency reporter Lin Shanchuan

On April 13, the State Council Information Office held a press conference on import and export in the first quarter of 2017. Huang Songping, spokesman of the General Administration of Customs, introduced the relevant situation and answered reporters' questions on hot issues. According to customs statistics, in the first quarter of 2017, the total value of my country's imports and exports of goods trade was 6.2 trillion yuan, an increase of 21.8 over the same period in 2016. Among them, exports of 3.33 trillion yuan, an increase of 14.8; imports of 2.87 trillion yuan, an increase of 31.1. Experts pointed out that China's foreign trade has stabilized and improved for three consecutive quarters, reflecting the further increase in positive factors in China's economic fundamentals. It is foreseeable that China will strive to consolidate this momentum in the future while pursuing a more balanced trade structure.

 Three good support recovery

Judging from the latest data released by the General Administration of Customs, there are many bright spots in imports and exports in the first quarter, and the trend of stabilizing and improving is obvious.

In the first quarter of this year, China's imports and exports to Russia, Pakistan, Poland, Kazakhstan and India along the "Belt and Road Initiative" route increased by 37 percent, 18.7 percent, 19 percent, 69.3 percent and 27.7 percent, respectively. During the same period, my country's imports and exports to the EU increased by 16.9, imports and exports to the United States increased by 21.3, and imports and exports to ASEAN increased by 25%. At the same time, the proportion of general trade import and export and private enterprise import and export has increased, and the trade structure has been optimized; the export manager index and new export order index have continued to rise, and foreign trade confidence has continued to increase.

Regarding the reasons for the rebound in foreign trade in the first quarter, Huang Songping believes that there are three main positive supports: First, the current global economy is showing signs of continuous improvement, and international market demand has improved, which is conducive to export growth. Second, under the influence of factors such as the deepening of supply-side structural reform, the domestic economy has continued to improve steadily since the beginning of this year, which in turn has led to a sustained increase in China's imports. Third, in the first quarter of last year, commodity prices in the international market rebounded after a low level, which promoted a significant increase in import value. After domestic production was transmitted to the export link, it also promoted the rise of export prices. In addition, the low base in the same period last year is also an important reason for the high growth rate of imports and exports in the first quarter of this year.

Bai Ming, deputy director of the International Market Research Institute of the Research Institute of the Ministry of Commerce, believes that the expansion of the pilot free trade zone, the trade facilitation agreement, and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area are becoming new momentum for foreign trade growth.

Sustained recovery still needs to be done

So, whether the foreign trade recovery can continue? Huang Songping said, the first quarter of the foreign trade situation can not represent the trend of the whole year, foreign trade can continue to recover for the better but also consider many factors.

Xu Hongcai, deputy chief economist of the China International Economic Exchange Center, pointed out in an interview with our reporter that although the rebound in imports and exports in the first quarter is gratifying, the hidden worries should not be ignored.

"On the one hand, investment has played an important role in driving China's economic growth and import demand this year; on the other hand, the recent sharp rebound in foreign trade is also inextricably linked to factors such as the bottoming out of commodity prices and the downward trend of the RMB against the US dollar over the past period of time. Overall, against the backdrop of the current rising trend of global trade protectionism that has not been reversed, we cannot yet take the future foreign trade situation lightly." Xu Hongcai said.

Experts generally believe that the current trend of seeking progress in China's economy is obvious, the supply-side structural reform continues to deepen, and there are still many favorable conditions for promoting the development of foreign trade. Therefore, as long as you do your homework, there is hope to achieve a further recovery of foreign trade. "The fundamentals of my country's foreign trade development have not changed. Without major risks, through continuous efforts, my country's foreign trade imports and exports are expected to continue to stabilize and improve throughout this year." Huang Songping expected.

Trade is expected to be more balanced

It is worth noting that although China still enjoys a large trade surplus with the United States in the first quarter of this year, the momentum for Sino-US trade to move closer to a more balanced direction is also increasing. The latest data show that the total value of Sino-US trade in the first quarter reached 870.58 billion billion yuan, up 21.3 percent year on year. Among them, China's exports to the United States were 606.35 billion billion yuan, an increase of 16.8 percent; imports from the United States were 264.23 billion billion yuan, an increase of 33.1 percent; and the trade surplus with the United States was 342.12 billion billion yuan, an increase of 6.7 percent, which was significantly lower than the growth rate of total trade value.

In this regard, Huang Songping said at the press conference that the Sino-US trade surplus in goods is only nominal. In fact, a considerable part of it is taken over by China after the transfer of industries from other countries. At present, China is at the middle and low end of the global industrial chain, processing and manufacturing income is not high, and processing trade import and export goods are full value statistics, so China's actual profit is not as large as the statistical surplus shows, need to be viewed objectively and rationally.

Xu Hongcai said, "At present, China and the United States have decided to conduct a 100-day trade dialogue to promote more balanced trade. For China, we should take the supply side structural reform as the main line, strengthen the adjustment of industrial structure, change the mode of foreign trade development, reduce the supply of low value-added foreign trade products, and then cultivate new competitive advantages in foreign trade; for the United States, we should also effectively relax the export restrictions of high-tech products to China, and create a better environment for Chinese enterprises to invest in the United States."