China's foreign trade grew 4.7 percent year-on-year in the first five months of the year, extending good momentum for steady and consolidated growth, official data showed on Wednesday.
According to data released by the General Administration of Customs (GAC), China’s exports grew by 8.1 percent year-on-year in yuan-denominated terms reaching 9.62 trillion yuan ($1.35 trillion), while imports grew by 0.5 percent year-on-year to 7.15 trillion yuan.
In the first five months, the structure of China’s foreign trade sector continues to see improvement, with the country’s trade with its major trade partners posting noteworthy growth. The ASEAN remains to be China’s largest trade partner, with bilateral trade up by 9.9 percent year-on-year to reach 2.59 trillion yuan, accounting for 15.4 percent of the country’s total. China’s trade with the EU, its second-largest trade partner, grew by 3.6 percent year-on-year to 2.28 trillion yuan, according to the GAC data.
Over the period, China’s total import and export volume with countries along the Belt and Road Initiative jumped by 13.2 percent year-on-year to 5.78 trillion yuan, while that with five Central Asian countries surged by 44 percent year-on-year. China’s foreign trade with other members of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) increased by 4.5 percent year-on-year to reach 5.11 trillion yuan in the first five months, according to the GAC.
Meanwhile, private enterprises have played a larger role in driving up foreign trade, according to the GAC. In the first five months, private firms’ total trade volume grew by 13.1 percent year-on-year to reach 8.86 trillion yuan. That accounted for 52.8 percent of the country’s total over the period, up 3.9 percentage points compared with the same period last year.
It’s worth noting that amid rising external challenges, China’s foreign trade grew by 0.5 percent year-on-year in May alone to reach 3.45 trillion yuan. Last month, the country’s exports declined 0.8 percent year-on-year to 1.95 trillion yuan, while imports grew by 2.3 percent year-on-year to 1.5 trillion yuan.
Acknowledging that the nation's exporters face challenges including uncertain external demand and trade risks, Chinese Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen said at a press conference on April 23 that the ministry will extensively resume domestic on-site exhibitions and promote the resumption of international passenger flights.
A State Council, China’s cabinet, meeting held on April 7 stated that a policy mix will be implemented to maintain the stability of foreign trade, and to help enterprises secure orders and expand the market.
China will find ways to stabilize exports to developed economies and guide companies to continue exploring markets in developing countries, as well as regional markets such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, according to the meeting.