Trade moves to ensure jobs
Govt measures set to consolidate stability of supply, industrial chains
China will promote the integration of domestic and foreign trade, and consolidate the stability of the supply and industrial chains to ensure jobs for nearly 200 million people during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-25), a government report said on Wednesday.
Released by the Ministry of Commerce, the Foreign Trade Situation Report of China (Spring 2021) reviews the foreign trade situation in the country from last year to April this year, and also analyzes the global environment and prospects for the rest of this year.
The COVID-19 pandemic is yet to be controlled effectively globally, while the production, distribution and rollout of vaccines has been uneven, it said. Global economic recovery is still not stable or balanced, while there have been several constraints for international industrial and supply chains, all of which has led to a complex external environment for China's foreign trade growth, the report said.
With the government adopting stable foreign trade policies and measures, relatively new business forms and new models, such as e-commerce, are booming across China, and the development resilience of foreign trade enterprises is being reinforced. Such factors will provide strong support for the steady growth of both imports and exports.
To ease the pressure caused by COVID-19, the report said that more than 10,000 Chinese export-oriented companies went online for the first time in 2020, while a large number of Chinese companies adopted digital solutions, including big data, business-to-business platforms and online exhibition activities to attract global customers and increase sales.
"Many Chinese manufacturers have continued to add investment to improve the technical content and added value of export products, in a bid to move up the value chain," said Bai Ming, deputy director of international market research department at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation.
He said that a growing number of Chinese companies have also begun to cultivate their "soft power" for exports, focusing on improving the comprehensive capabilities of supply chain management, brand building, quality control and after-sales services to further compete with their global rivals.
China's efforts to leverage high-level openness to promote the dual-circulation development pattern, will not only stimulate domestic consumption, but also attract foreign resources, said Zhang Yongjun, a researcher at the Beijing-based China Center for International Economic Exchanges.
The new development pattern has the domestic market as the mainstay of the economy, while domestic and international markets support each other.
"While expanding domestic demand and ensuring the smooth flow of the internal circulation, the domestic cycle of production, distribution and consumption, China will continue to boost both exports and imports, as well as attract foreign direct investment," he said.
China's foreign trade rose by 28.2 percent on a yearly basis to 14.76 trillion yuan ($2.31 trillion) during the first five months of the year, reflecting that exports and imports are picking up growth momentum. It is also being driven by robust domestic demand and growing overseas orders, according to data from the General Administration of Customs.
Shandong-province based CRRC Qingdao Sifang Co, a subsidiary of China Railway Rolling Stock Corp, the country's largest rolling stock manufacturer by production volume, and its partner Astra Vagoane Arad, signed a supply contract for 100 trams with Bucharest Town Hall of Romania last month. Vehicles covered by the project are 100 percent low-floor modern trams with a standard track gauge, four-module formation and advanced power supply system.
"This is the first complete vehicle project won by Chinese rail transit equipment manufacturer in Romania," said Ma Lijun, CRRC Qingdao Sifang's president, adding the company is willing to supply more trains to Central and Eastern European countries in the coming years.
At present, China's foreign trade reach has expanded to more than 230 countries and regions, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations has become its largest trading partner, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
Economic cooperation with countries and regions participating in the Belt and Road Initiative has continued to deepen trade and its proportion in China's total foreign trade has grown from 25.1 percent in 2015 to 29.1 percent in 2020.