China confident of meeting 6% annual trade growth target

By Song Shengxia

BEIJING: China is confident of meeting its annual foreign trade growth target of 6 percent in 2015 despite the persisting weak growth in global demand, the country’s commerce ministry said over the weekend.

The significant decline in the prices of imported goods was one of the main reasons that the country failed to hit the annual trade growth target of 7.5 percent in 2014, Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng said Saturday at a press conference on the sidelines of the ongoing two sessions.

There are no signs that resources, energy and agricultural commodity prices will rebound quickly. The overseas and domestic economic situation this year will remain similar to that of 2014, though international demand will likely maintain slight growth in 2015, Gao said.

Despite the gloomy outlook, foreign trade in March will be back in growth territory and China is confident it will hit the annual trade growth target this year, Gao noted.

China aims to achieve around 6 percent growth in its annual imports and exports in 2015, Premier Li Ke­qiang said Thursday in a government work report delivered to the annual session of the National People’s Congress.

The country’s foreign trade grew 3.4 percent from a year earlier in dollar terms, undershooting its annual growth target of 7.5 percent.

Although the fall of bulk commodities prices and decline of foreign investment in China’s manufacturing caused the slower growth in the country’s trade, China’s foreign trade performance still exceeded the average global level in recent years, Jin Baisong, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, told the Global Times Sunday.

“It is unnecessary to be pessimistic with this year’s trade target, which is reasonable and likely to be achieved given government policies to bolster trade and emerging good signs of an improving trade structure since 2013,” Jin said.

Gao pledged that China will promote trade facilitation, boost support for firms undergoing upgrading and restructuring and encourage the development of new marketing means for exports such as e-commerce to achieve this year’s trade goal. (People’s daily and Global Times)