Zhong Shan (R2), vice-minister of commerce, and Zhu Zhixin (L2), vice-chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, attend the first weekly policy briefing of the State Council in Beijing, Jan 16, 2015. [Photo by Zou Hong/english.gov.cn]
Imports and exports amounted to $4.3 trillion for 2014, up by 3.4 percent annually, as China’s trade contributed more to world economic growth, a senior official told the first weekly policy briefing of the State Council on Jan 16.
“It is estimated that the contribution of foreign trade to China’s economic growth this year would be around 10.5 percent, the highest since 2008,” said Zhong Shan, China International Trade Representative and Vice-Commerce Minister.
According to Zhong, barring non-comparable factors, the annual growth rate of imports and exports reached 6.1 percent, with exports growing by 8.7 percent and imports by 3.3 percent.
China has maintained its position as the world’s largest trader of goods, with its global exports reaching 12.2 percent last year, he said, noting that the figure is 0.5 percentage points higher than for 2013.
The vice-minister said China’s trade structure was further optimized last year, with foreign trade in the regions becoming more balanced. “The trade increment of the central and western regions of China overtook that for the eastern regions for the first time in 20 years,” Zhong said.
Manufacturing of equipment has become an important export growth area, as shipments of railway locomotives and rolling stock grew by 20 percent with exports of communication equipment growing by 10 percent.
China’s trade services also grew rapidly last year, Zhong added.
The value of services imported and exported exceeded $580 billion for the year, up by more than 10 percent annually.
The State Council announced a series of measures aimed at accelerating the development of trade in services at an executive meeting on Jan 14.
Premier Li Keqiang chaired the meeting, which said that progress in this sector was important for China’s policy of opening-up, as it creates jobs, and also helps cultivate new growth engines.
Zhong Shan, vice-minister of commerce , speaks at the first weekly policy briefing of the State Council in Beijing, Jan 16, 2015. [Photo by Zou Hong/english.gov.cn]