China’s foreign trade growth will be backed by a wide range of trading partners and a resilient import and export structure, and a domestic market with growing demand in 2019, despite some uncertainties remaining in the global outlook, said political advisors and legislators from business circles.
Their comments came after the General Administration of Customs released the trade figures for the first two months on March 8, which said the country’s foreign trade volume in February fell 9.4 percent year-on-year to 1.81 trillion yuan ($269.12 billion).
Exports dropped by 16.6 percent to 922.76 billion yuan last month, while imports showed a slight decrease of 0.3 percent to 888.3 billion yuan.
“Slower growth was mainly caused by business disruptions during the Spring Festival holiday and the lack of clear signals in the trade dispute with the United States,” said Wang Xiaosong, a researcher with the National Academy of Development and Strategy at Renmin University of China.
Wang said the Spring Festival was the major factor, and “if we rule that out, the trade is still growing”.
Trade volume in February climbed 10.2 percent year-on-year after deducting the Spring Festival impact, according to the customs data.
As many parts of the world have been affected by factors such as weak market demand and trade protectionism, it is understandable to see some countries reporting a slowed pace in exports, said Zhang Yuyan, director of the Institute of World Economics and Politics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and a member of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
“China’s advantage in foreign trade can be found in technology upgrading, brand, quality and services, rather than low prices for the next stage, although developed countries are trying to maintain and enhance their strength in middle and high-end product industries,” said Zhang.