Update: China's foreign trade ends 2023 on solid footing with new driving forces-Xinhua

Update: China's foreign trade ends 2023 on solid footing with new driving forces

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-01-12 20:54:17

BEIJING, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- China's foreign trade closed 2023 with better-than-expected performances and new driving forces adding to the upward momentum despite challenges on both domestic and international fronts.

The country's total imports and exports of goods expanded 0.2 percent year on year to 41.76 trillion yuan (about 5.88 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2023, the General Administration of Customs (GAC) said Friday.

Exports grew 0.6 percent year on year to 23.77 trillion yuan, while imports edged down 0.3 percent from a year earlier to 17.99 trillion yuan, the data showed.

The trade data has demonstrated that China's export products hold solid competitive advantages, with tech-driven products serving as new growth engines of the exports, GAC deputy head Wang Lingjun told a press conference.

The total export value of China's new tech-intensive green trio, namely solar batteries, lithium-ion batteries and electric vehicles, surged 29.9 percent to 1.06 trillion yuan in 2023, with the figure topping the one-trillion-yuan mark for the first time.

The export value of machinery and electronic products, accounting for 58.6 percent of total exports, increased 2.9 percent during the period.

Although the overall 2023 export growth eased compared with that of the previous years, GAC spokesperson Lyu Daliang highlighted the fact that China's export figure has reached a new high on a high base.

The country has achieved reasonable growth in trade volume and retained its global share, Lyu said, citing the latest World Trade Organization data that had anticipated China's global share in terms of exports to remain at a high level of 14 percent in 2023.

In response to a media query on the drop in import value, Lyu said that it can be attributed to falling commodity import prices. "China's imports in terms of quantity in fact grew, reflecting the continued uptick in production and booming consumption demand."

Friday's GAC data also showed that private businesses have played a bigger role in prompting the growth of foreign trade. According to Wang, total trade business entities with import and export records surpassed 600,000 for the first time in 2023, and private enterprises stood at 556,000, taking the lion's share.

The trade value of private enterprises took up 53.5 percent of the total, up 3.1 percentage points from 2022, while that of the foreign-invested enterprises constituted 30.2 percent.

Wang also noted that there's been an increase in the share of trade with Belt and Road Initiative participating countries in total foreign trade. Last year, China's trade with these countries accounted for 46.6 percent of the total, up 1.2 percentage points from 2022.

Looking ahead, Wang was optimistic about the 2024 trade prospects. "A recent survey on major trade enterprises revealed that three-fourths of the firms expected their imports and exports to stay flat or register an expansion this year," Wang said.

Despite trade protectionism, heightening geopolitical tensions and other unpredictable factors, China has the confidence, capability and conditions to continue the sound development momentum of foreign trade in 2024, Wang added. 


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