SMM News: the Ministry of Commerce held a regular press conference on the 9th. The spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce, Gao, briefed the country on the operation of foreign trade. According to Chinese customs statistics, from January to April this year, China's foreign trade import and export totaled 9.51 trillion yuan. It was 4.3% higher than the same period last year. Gao said that the overall momentum of steady and progressive development of China's foreign trade has not changed, and the next step will continue to raise the level of trade facilitation, help enterprises actively open up diversified markets, and create a good external environment for enterprises.
Specifically, the role of import and export of countries along the "Belt and Road Initiative" line is obvious. From a national point of view, China's exports to the European Union, ASEAN, South Korea and Russia increased by 14.2%, 13.4%, 7.7% and 9.1%, respectively. The level of smooth trade with the countries along the "Belt and Road Initiative" line has been continuously improved, and the growth rate of imports and exports is 4.8 percentage points higher than that of the whole, accounting for an increase of 1.3 percentage points to 28.7 per cent. During the Canton Fair this spring, the proportion of merchants and transactions in countries along the "Belt and Road Initiative" route reached 45 per cent and 35.8 per cent, respectively.
The picture shows an aerial photograph of a container terminal in Lianyungang, Jiangsu Province. (photo by China News Service reporter Kapo)
Private enterprises continued to maintain their position as the largest exporter, with exports totaling 2.53 trillion yuan, an increase of 13.1 percent, an increase of 3.2 percentage points to 49.9 percent. Exports from foreign-invested enterprises totaled 2.03 trillion yuan, down 0.1 percent, and exports from state-owned enterprises totaled 501.47 billion yuan, down 4 percent.
The commodity structure continued to upgrade, and exports of mechanical, electrical and labor-intensive products increased. Exports of mechanical and electrical products totaled 2.97 trillion yuan, an increase of 4.5 percent, accounting for 58.6 percent of the total value of exports. Of this total, exports of integrated circuits, motors and generators increased by 27% and 7.8%, respectively. Seven categories of labor-intensive products maintained a competitive advantage, with exports totaling 924.54 billion yuan, an increase of 5.8 per cent. Among them, toys, plastic products and furniture increased by 30.9%, 17.6% and 9.3%, respectively.
Trade patterns continue to be optimized, and general trade remains resilient. General trade exports totaled 2.96 trillion yuan, an increase of 10.2 percent, or an increase of 2.4 percentage points to 58.6 percent. Processing trade exports totaled 1.51 trillion yuan, down 1.8 percent.
The domestic economy is running smoothly, driving the growth rate of imports to pick up. In the first quarter, the total retail sales of consumer goods in China increased by 8.3% compared with the same period last year, and the purchasing managers' index (PMI) was in the expansion range for two months in a row. From January to April, import growth was 2.6 percentage points higher than in the first quarter. Imports of commodities such as crude oil, refined oil and natural gas rose 8.9 per cent, 8.8 per cent and 16.4 per cent, respectively. Imports of crude oil, iron ore, natural gas and other top 10 commodities totaled 1.14 trillion yuan, an increase of 9.4 percent over the same period last year, driving the import growth rate by 2.3 percentage points.
Gao said that since the beginning of this year, a series of policies and measures, such as tax cuts and fees, have been brought to the ground, and the operation of the national economy has been stable on the whole and a good start has been made. Although some international organizations have lowered their forecasts for global trade growth, unilateralism and trade protectionism have risen, and China's exports are facing certain downward pressure, the overall momentum of steady progress in China's foreign trade has not changed.
Gao pointed out: in the next step, the Ministry of Commerce, together with various regions and relevant departments, will comprehensively implement the various stable foreign trade decisions made by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, continuously raise the level of trade facilitation, and help enterprises actively open up diversified markets. We will create a good external environment for enterprises and strive to promote the stability and quality of China's foreign trade.