While year-on-year foreign trade growth rate slows, the overall stable development of China's foreign trade sector is guaranteed and the country is expected to remain the world's largest trading nation in goods in 2023, Lü Daliang, a spokesperson with the General Administration of Customs (GAC), said on Thursday.
Lü said the authorities have noticed some concerns over China's foreign trade growth rate, but the authorities believe the overall development of the sector is stable, with a second-quarter reading and data in May and June all showing quarter-on-quarter or month-on-month growth.
China's import and export kept growing in the first half of the year, with the total volume hitting 20.1 trillion yuan ($2.8 trillion), marking a milestone breakthrough in the country's history, according to GAC data.
"The result is hard-won, as it's been achieved amid a complex and grave external environment and slowing global trade and investment, as well as a fall in consumption of anti-epidemic products and in-house economy products," Lü said.
Over the period, the country's total import and export volume increased by over 400 billion yuan, which is equivalent to the country's export of a total of over 3 million cars in 2022, according to Lü.
He said the quantity of the country's imports and exports is on the rise, which means that the basis of the country's foreign trade is more solid. "The import and export quantity both fell in the first quarter, but they both increased in the second quarter, up 5.9 percent and 2 percent, respectively," the official said.
The WTO forecasts that the global cargo trade growth rate will be 1.7 percent in 2023, slower than the average of 2.6 percent over the past 12 years. Slower trade is a global challenge faced by all economies, Lü said. "Compared with the data released by neighboring countries, China's foreign trade has shown relatively strong resilience and its competitive advantage has strengthened," he said, adding that China's exports accounted for a slightly larger global market share in the first four months.
China's foreign trade encounters pressure, ups and downs and challenges. However, the positive long-term fundamentals of the Chinese economy remain unchanged and the country's foreign trade sector is resilient and has flexible wiggle room thanks to a sound industrial system and comprehensive production capacity, Lü said.
In addition to continuous opening-up and international trade cooperation, China has rolled out a series of policies to stabilize foreign trade. The joint effect continues to emerge, serving as a solid support to the improvement of the country's foreign trade structure, he said, adding, "We have confidence in continuing to consolidate market shares and in maintaining the top spot in the global cargo trade."