BEIJING, Jan. 21 -- China's trade surplus will decline to less than $100 billion, and imports will grow at nearly twice the rate of exports in 2011, Wei Jianguo, secretary-general of the government think tank, the China Center for International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE), told China Daily in an exclusive interview.
Wei urged the government to utilize imports as a major tool for economic restructuring in the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015). "Imported products will help to boost domestic demand in China," he said.
"The government should increase raw material imports, especially soybeans, oil, steel and copper," said Wei. Imports of consumer goods, such as wine, cosmetics, and jewelry, also need to be increased, he said.
China's imports in 2010 increased by 38.7 percent year-on-year to $1.39 trillion, and the value of exports was about $1.58 trillion, resulting in a surplus of $183.1 billion, said Yao Jian, spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce on Tuesday.