China made stable commercial development last year in consumption, trade and foreign investment, China's Ministry of Commerce said in a media briefing on Tuesday.
Below is a summary of key points from the briefing:
Consumption plays a bigger role
Consumption has served as a primary driving force for economic growth for five consecutive years.
With the retailing of consumer goods in 2018 growing nine percent year-on-year to 38.1 trillion yuan (5.6 trillion U.S. dollars), consumption contributed 76.2 percent of economic growth, 18.6 percent higher than the previous year.
Backed by the development of e-commerce, supply chain and digital consumption, the online retailing reached nine trillion yuan in 2018, 23.9 percent up year-on-year.
New trade record
Last year saw a total trade revenue of 30.5 trillion yuan with a 9.7 percent year-on-year growth, according to data from MOFCOM, a new record for trade amount.
The new record came with better structure. China's trade with Belt and Road countries accounted for 27.4 percent of its total trade and the country's middle and western regions contributed 15.8 percent of China's total trade.
Meanwhile, private enterprises made up 48 percent of China's export, remaining the largest export entity.
The growing goods trade was also more balanced last year with the surplus dropping to 18.3 percent and service trade ranking second in the world for five consecutive years.
In terms of trade system and governance, China has continued to support the multilateral trade system and declared its principles and claims in the reform of the global trade system in a white paper named China and the World Trade Organization (WTO).
China also actively participated in global trade governance through G20, Shanghai Cooperation Organization Qingdao summit and BRICS summit.
China has made new progress in cooperation with Africa through 2018 China-Africa Cooperation Form Beijing Summit, and launched plans in eight fields, including technology, investment, trade, and communication.
Stably rising FDI & OFDI
While global cross-border investment saw a drop of 19 percent, China's foreign direct investment (FDI) embraced a stable and high-quality increase. Over 60,000 foreign-funded enterprises were established last year, a year-on-year increase of 69.8 percent.
The country's actual use of foreign capital was 885.6 billion yuan, growing by 0.9 percent, which was equivalent to 135 billion U.S. dollars, up three percent.
Investment from developed economies grew rapidly. Investment from the UK, Germany, South Korea, Japan, and the U.S. into China increased by 150.1 percent, 79.3 percent, 24.1 percent, 13.6 percent and 7.7 percent respectively.
China continued to optimize its use of foreign capital, with the proportion of foreign capital used in manufacturing sector increasing to 30.6 percent, and in high-tech manufacturing increasing by 35.1 percent.
China's outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) for the year stood at 129.8 billion U.S. dollars, with an increase of 4.2 percent year-on-year. The investment into economies along the Belt and Road was 15.6 billion U.S. dollars, up 8.9 percent.
The country's OFDI structure continued to be optimized, with investment mainly put into such fields as rental sector, business services, manufacturing, wholesale and retail, and mining industry.
China's contracted projects overseas promoted the host country's economic and social development, creating annual turnover of 169 billion U.S. dollars and 840,000 local jobs. The projects also drove China's export of equipment and materials to 17 billion U.S. dollars.
Three major tasks
Vice Minister of Commerce Qian Keming reviewed three major accomplishments last year: the hosting of the first International Import Expo (CIIE), dealing with trade frictions with the U.S. and promoting Hainan Free Trade Zone.
In 2019, the ministry will continue efforts for the second CIIE, the ongoing trade friction and for FTZs as well as free trade ports, in a bid to achieve a strong domestic market and comprehensive opening-up.