China’s foreign trade in goods up 2.1% in first half

China’s foreign trade grew by 2.1 percent year-on-year to 20.1 trillion yuan ($2.8 trillion) in the first half of 2023, data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Thursday.

Exports grew 3.7 percent year on year to 11.46 trillion yuan while imports edged down 0.1 percent from a year earlier to 8.64 trillion yuan, the data showed.

“China has seen its economic performance picking up on the whole despite a severe and complex external environment, while the volume and quality of its foreign trade improved steadily and in line with expectations in the first six months of the year,” said Lyu Daliang, spokesperson of the General Administration of Customs.

Bruce Pang, chief economist and head of research at JLL Greater China expressed a positive view of China’s foreign trade, saying that strengthening of the U.S. dollar could help boost the competitiveness of China’s export commodities and continue to consolidate China’s position in the global supply chain.

“The export of domestic enterprises and electromechanical products, the electric vehicle continued to rise,” said Pang, adding that demand from the countries along the Belt and Road is still strong.

China’s trade in goods with countries along the Belt and Road jumped 9.8 percent year-on-year in the first half of 2023, accounting for 34.3 percent of the country’s total foreign trade volume.

In the meantime, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations remained China’s largest trading partner, with total imports and exports expanding 5.4 percent year on year to 3.08 trillion yuan, accounting for 15.3 percent of China’s total foreign trade volume.

The data also revealed that the value of China’s trade in goods with other members of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership rose 1.5 percent year on year in the same period.

(With input from Xinhua)

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