Support for exports, consumption to sustain growth momentum

2023-06-16 09:42:16China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

China should step up policy support to shore up exports and boost domestic consumption for sustaining growth and economic recovery amid multiple headwinds including stubbornly high inflation abroad and shrinking external demand, officials and experts said on Thursday.

Shu Jueting, a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Commerce, told a news conference on Thursday that China's exports are under considerable pressure due to persistent inflation and interest rate increases in major economies. These, she said, subdue investment and consumption demand and induce month-on-month declines in imports by these economies.

The World Trade Organization forecast in its Global Trade Outlook and Statistics report in April that merchandise trade volume would nudge up by only 1.7 percent in 2023, below the average for the past 12 years of 2.6 percent.

Meanwhile, growing de-globalization and protectionism are reshaping global trade supply chains, inducing pressure on Chinese enterprises engaged in foreign trade, said Xu Hongcai, deputy director of the economic policy committee at the China Association of Policy Sciences.

The government can offer better support to exporters and address their pressing concerns, with a special focus on lowering their overall costs, ensuring adequate cash flow and helping them explore new markets, Xu said.

The diversification of international markets, greater variety in export products and a wide range of business forms will usher in trading opportunities. Exporters must also strive to keep abreast of shifting global demand and enhance their competitiveness, Shu said.

Going forward, additional support will be channeled toward the participation of exporters in overseas exhibitions and a smooth cross-border flow of enterprises and business executives, Shu said. Easier access to corporate financing, credit insurance and other financial services will also be provided, Shu said.

Free trade agreements such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership pact will be fully leveraged. Innovative measures will be employed to boost cross-border e-commerce, Shu said.

As weakening external demand and sluggishness in the global economy may linger for a while, dampening China's exports, the role of consumption as the major driver of the country's economic growth will be better harnessed.

Total retail sales of consumer goods in China during the first five months grew 9.3 percent, 0.8 percentage points faster than in the January-April period, Shu said.

The upcoming Dragon Boat Festival and summer vacation, coupled with better policies and activities to spur consumption, will ensure that domestic consumption shows stable growth in the second quarter, Shu said.

Steps will also be taken to boost market vitality and consumer spending, as highlighted by policies to catalyze the consumption of automobiles, home appliances and catering services, and campaigns to boost consumption in various regions through the year.


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