China’s foreign trade has an auspicious start in 2021

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In the first quarter of this year, China’s merchandise imports and exports amounted to roughly 8.47 trillion yuan ($1.29 trillion) in total, an increase of 29.2 percent over the same period last year, indicating a rosy trend for China’s foreign trade prospects, according to the General Administration of Customs (GAC).

The total value of Chinese merchandise imports and exports in the first quarter registered respective increases of 25.3 percent and 20.5 percent over the same period in 2018 and 2019. In March of this year alone, the value of China’s combined imports and exports soared by 25 percent month-on-month, of which imports and exports rose by 35.2 percent and16.8 percent respectively.

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“The figures as represented by China’s imports and exports in the first quarter look good, which can be attributed to a combination of domestic and international factors,” said Li Kuiwen, spokesman for the GAC.

This excellent performance reflects the fact that China’s foreign trade has become continuously more optimized over time in terms of trade entities, domestic regional layouts, international market layouts, trade modes and product structures, Li explained, noting that the quality and efficiency of foreign trade have both been gradually improved.

Li revealed that China’s policies and measures to coordinate COVID-19 prevention and control as well as economic and social development have proven to be effective, which not only helped facilitate the steady recovery of domestic production and consumption, but also provided strong support for the sustained and stable operation of foreign trade.

Of particular note, the vitality of private-owned enterprises, which have emerged as the main driving force behind foreign trade growth, has received a further boost. In the first quarter, the combined import and export growth rate for these enterprises was 13.5 percentage points higher than the overall growth rate for foreign trade.

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As another main driving force spurring the growth of foreign trade, cross-border e-commerce has also maintained a strong growth momentum since the beginning of this year. Preliminary customs estimates indicated that China’s cross-border e-commerce imports and exports totaled 419.5 billion yuan in the first quarter, an increase of 46.5 percent over the same period last year.

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“China’s customs will continue to promote the B2B export supervision pilot reform of cross-border e-commerce, and support the overseas warehouse model for the export of cross-border e-commerce goods and products, all in a bid to promote the healthy and rapid development of new business forms, the likes of which include cross-border e-commerce,” Li said.

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