Updated: 2013-03-05 ( Xinhua) - China will strive to increase its total foreign trade volume by around 8 percent amid slow recovery in the world economy and rising trade protectionism, and work to improve its balance of payments, according to a report submitted to the country's top legislature on Tuesday.
The targeted foreign trade growth for the world's second-largest economy is higher than last year's real growth but lower than 10-percent target in 2012.
"China's export prospects remain grim," said the report on a draft plan for 2013 national economic and social development drafted by the National Development and Reform Commission to the first session of the 12th National people's Congress.
"World economic growth will continue to be slow. Overall demand of major economies will remain weak. All forms of protectionism are clearly reasserting themselves," said the report.
Due to the economic woes in European Union, the United States and other major trading partners, China saw its foreign trade increase 6.2 percent to $3.87 trillion in 2012 with a trade surplus of $231.1 billion. Last year's foreign trade growth was considerably lower than the 10-percent targeted earlier by the government.
Although exports growth slowed sharply to 7.9 percent in 2012 from 20.3 percent recorded in previous year, a $20.5-trillion export volume secured China's position as the world's largest exporter. Also, imports added only 4.3 percent last year, compared with a 24.9-percent increase in 2011, making China the second-largest importer.
As the world economic structure will continue to change, the report noted, the government must implement a more active opening-up strategy and quickly create new competitive advantages, stabilize and expand China's share in the international market, and further improve its open economy.
According to the report, China will accelerate development of trade in services, further improve the structure of foreign investment utilization and steadily increase China's outward investment.
China attracted $111.7 billion in foreign direct investment in non-financial sectors last year, down 3.7 percent year-on-year, while the country's non-financial outward direct investment surged 28.6 percent to $77.2 billion last year.
Non-financial FDI is expected to rose 1.2 percent to reach $113 billion in 2013, while China's non-financial ODI is forecast to jump 15 percent to hit $88.7 billion this year, according to the report.