China will make full use of free trade agreements to guide export-oriented companies to explore overseas markets, while encouraging exports of innovative, green and high value-added products to bolster their competitiveness, said the Ministry of Commerce on Thursday.
As the country's foreign trade still faces uncertainties in the second half, the government will urge related parties to lower exporters' corporate financing costs and shipping expenses, and accelerate the progress of export tax rebates, Shu Jueting, a ministry spokeswoman, said.
Apart from making good use of FTAs, such as the China-Switzerland FTA and the China-Singapore FTA, she said the government will organize international exhibitions, including the China International Import Expo and the China Import and Export Fair, to help exporters expand overseas markets and secure more orders.
China's foreign trade soared 9.4 percent year-on-year in the first half to 19.8 trillion yuan ($2.94 trillion), said the General Administration of Customs.
Stressing that the government will help companies cultivate new growth areas in foreign trade, Shu said expanding new business formats and models such as cross-border e-commerce, overseas warehouses, market procurement, foreign trade-related services, bonded maintenance and remanufacturing will further put the country's foreign trade growth on a firmer footing in the next stage.
Diane Wang, founder, chairperson and CEO of DHgate Group, a cross-border B2B e-commerce marketplace in China, said headphones, LED lights, phone cases, scooters, yoga wear, wedding dresses, party supplies, cosmetic bags, string lights and drones were the most popular products among the company's overseas buyers last year.
In some developing markets such as Africa, people have moved to social commerce directly, surpassing the PC-dominated e-commerce era and smartphone-dominated e-commerce era. In developed markets, social commerce also develops faster than traditional e-commerce, said Wang.
After chief negotiators from China's Ministry of Commerce and South Korea's Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy held a meeting for the second phase of bilateral FTA negotiations via video link on Wednesday, the Chinese side said both parties have made positive progress in talks in various fields, such as investment, financial services and cross-border trade in services.
China's Commerce Minister Wang Wentao and Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Denis Moncada also signed "early harvest "arrangements for a bilateral FTA via video link earlier this week. They announced the beginning of bilateral FTA negotiations.
Shu said the signing of the early harvest arrangements, together with the beginning of FTA negotiations, is an important outcome in bilateral economic and trade cooperation since the two countries resumed diplomatic relations in December 2021.
China is willing to work with Nicaragua to complete follow-up work such as domestic legal procedures, promoting the implementation of the early harvest arrangement to benefit the two countries and their people as soon as possible, she said.
Shu said that joint feasibility studies of a bilateral FTA between China and Uruguay have been successfully completed. The two sides will continue to communicate and discuss the next step of bilateral free trade cooperation so as to further elevate the level of bilateral economic and trade cooperation.