BEIJING, April 26 (Xinhua) -- China will pursue balanced, progressive and mutually beneficial foreign trade development from now until the end of 2015, according to an official plan released Thursday.
The country is going to make substantial headway in promoting steady growth and balanced trade under a program for foreign trade during the 12th Five-year Plan (2011-2015) period released by the Ministry of Commerce (MOC).
Imports and exports are expected to see steady growth during the five-year period, with the total trade volume growing by an average annual rate of around 10 percent to reach about 4.8 trillion U.S. dollars by 2015.
"The trade balance situation will continue to improve," the ministry said.
First of Its Kind
This is the first time for the Chinese government to release a five-year program on foreign trade development.
China mapped out this plan in order to guide all local authorities and industries to work on the central tasks of foreign trade and enhance the relatively fast and sustainable trade growth, an official with the MOC's foreign trade department said in an online press release.
The plan has listed "promoting steady growth, adjusting structure and seeking balanced trade" as its key tasks for trade development over the next five years.
China will nurture new strengths in global trade competition, raise the quality and efficiency of foreign trade and reinforce trade balance and sustainability, said the plan.
"The country should consolidate its position as a large trading nation and forge ahead with the drive to become a strong trading nation," according to the plan.
China's trade volume expanded at an annual rate of 15.9 percent during the 11th Five-year Plan (2006-2010) period, data from the MOC shows.
Taking into full account the growth in the previous five years and the complicated trade environment now, China has decided to lower the trade growth target to 10 percent, the official said.
China's trade growth is facing exterior challenges, including the sluggish world economic recovery, rising trade protectionism measures, volatile commodities prices and exchange rates of major currencies and increasingly fierce competition from other countries.
Seeking Mutual Benefit
China's trade volume hit 2.97 trillion U.S. dollars in 2010, making China the world's largest exporter and the second-largest importer.
"Made-in-China products promoted the welfare of global consumers, while the Chinese market spurred the economic growth of related countries," according to the plan.
The plan has made seeking mutual benefit and a win-win situation one of its basic principles for trade growth, signaling the country's determination to make trade more balanced during the new era and bring more benefits to trade partners.
The country should implement an active import strategy and properly handle trade frictions to achieve a win-win situation for all trade partners, the plan said.
"China will actively participate in the restructuring of international economic and trade governance and fully consider the interests of trade partners with different development levels," it said.
A major task for China is to further expand its import sector in seeking balanced trade, the plan pointed out.
"The country is going to urge developed nations to relax controls over high-tech products exported to China," according to the plan.
China will increase imports of high-tech equipment, key parts, resources and materials, as well as consumer goods.
China's trade structure has been constantly optimizing in recent years, as its trade surplus has been narrowing since 2008.
Its annual trade surplus narrowed 14.5 percent year on year to 155.14 billion U.S. dollars in 2011, according to data from the General Administration of Customs.