China has seen increase in its exports and imports in the first three quarters despite the ongoing trade spat with the US, according to customs data released on Oct. 12.
Trade volume spiked by about 9.9 percent year-on-year, hitting RMB 22.28 trillion yuan ($ 3.2 trillion) in the first three quarters, which is interpreted to be mainly the result of diversification of China’s trade activities with other emerging economies and trade growth of private companies.
Exports in the same period increased by 6.5 percent year-on-year, hitting RMB 11.86 trillion yuan, while imports saw a soaring growth of 14.1 percent year-on-year to RMB 10.42 trillion yuan, achieving a trade surplus standing at about RMB 1.44 trillion yuan- pinched by 28.3 percent year-on-year, according to General Administration of Customs.
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The rather fast and stable growth over the first three quarters plays to lay a foundation for the country’s performance in the whole year, and China has tapped potentials of trade with more countries and regions, especially countries get involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, like Poland, Kazakhstan and Russia, says Li Kuiwen, spokesman for the GAC.
China is also taking measures to improve mix of exports, resulting in exports of autos expanding by 16.3 percent, machine tools 18.7 percent compared with the same period of 2017, the GAC announced. Bigger contributors of export value are electrical and mechanical products, exports of which jumped by 7.8 percent to RMB 6.91 trillion yuan, claiming 58.3 percent of the total.
Li says the impact of Sino-US trade dispute on China’s foreign trade is “controllable”. However, he warns that escalating trade friction and other externalities will continue to pose uncertainties and challenges to global trade growth.
The country’s imports of major goods increased both in volume and value in the period, in which, foreign shipments of crude oil rose by 5.9 percent, refined oil 9.8 percent, and copper 16.1 percent, the data shows.
Increase in imports implies that China still has huge demand for raw materials, energy and manufactured goods.
China will continue to accelerate its pace in innovation to develop high-end manufacture and digital technologies, in order to enhance its capabilities and competitiveness in exportation, says Xin Guobin, vice-minister of Industry and Information Technology.
Experts hold that thanks to the country’s new policies to lower the value-added tax on imports and taxes on vehicles, auto parts, medicines and consumer goods took effect earlier this year, China’s foreign trade is forecast to be able to maintain its momentum for growth this year.