In the government work report made by Premier Li Keqiang on the 5th, when talking about the development of foreign trade this year, he did not propose specific numerical indicators, but replaced it with "import and export have stabilized and improved." This not only indicates that this year's foreign trade development will focus more on quality, but also reveals that the government pays more attention to the cultivation of export competitiveness.
Taking stock of the main expected goals of economic and social development proposed in the 2015 Government Work Report, only the growth rate of imports and exports is far from reaching the target. China's exports shrank 2.8 percent in dollar terms in 2015, the first annual decline since 2009. Affected by sluggish external demand and falling import and export prices, the country's total import and export value in January was 1.88 trillion yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 9.8%; exports were 1.14 trillion yuan, a decrease of 6.6%. This once again put the market under pressure. How to correctly view China's export situation and evaluate the competitiveness of China's manufacturing industry has become a hot spot of public opinion.
China's trade in goods still ranks first in the world
"Foreign trade is trade between countries, and it needs to be compared in the background. It needs to be comprehensively compared with multi-dimensional indicators such as quality and quantity." Zhi Luxun, deputy director of the Foreign Trade Department of the Ministry of Commerce, said.
From an international perspective, global trade experienced double-digit negative growth last year, and my country’s export growth rate was still better than that of major global economies and emerging market countries, and the decline was far lower than that of major trading partners and global trade. The export volume still ranks first in the world, and it has maintained this position for three consecutive years since 2013. my country's share in global trade has increased by one percentage point from 12.2% to more than 13%, which is a year of increase in share.
In January, my country's foreign trade import and export still declined. But what needs to be seen is that the import and export of the world's major economies have all declined, and most of them have fallen by more than 10%. It should be said that from the perspective of global trade and economic development, my country's foreign trade in January continued the momentum of 2015.
"We are used to high growth, not negative growth. We think there is a problem with negative growth. In fact, global trade was negative in 2015. Recently, the WTO announced the import and export data of 71 major economies in 2015. Exports fell by 11%, and imports fell by 11%. A drop of 12.6%.” said Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng. He believes that in 2015, China's foreign trade still delivered a satisfactory answer - when global trade is growing, China's growth rate is higher than other major economies; when global trade is declining , the rate of decline in China is relatively low.
Gao Hucheng, Minister of Commerce, believes that: First, China's industrial system is very complete, with a long industrial chain and strong supporting capabilities. Second, China has strong innovation capabilities. Since the international financial crisis in 2008, Chinese enterprises have taken the initiative to adjust. Our investment in education ranges from the country to the family. In addition, the spirit of innovation is also a very strong competitiveness in China. The third is the development of emerging business forms, including the transformation of traditional industries, as well as the innovation of emerging business forms, such as the cross-border e-commerce pilot project in Hangzhou, which added US$10 billion in exports that year. Fourth, the government vigorously streamlines administration and decentralizes power, cleans up various taxes and fees, improves work efficiency, creates a convenient, efficient, and rule-of-law business environment for enterprises, reduces the burden on enterprises, and solves the problems of difficult and expensive financing for enterprises. It took a lot of effort.
Of course, what needs to be seen is that the continuous 30-year high-speed growth of my country's foreign trade is gone forever. In the new era, my country's foreign trade development is undergoing a series of trendy new changes in terms of external demand, competitive advantages, and trade structure. In the past, our comparative advantage and competitiveness mainly relied on relatively low labor costs. However, capital-intensive electromechanical and large-scale equipment are growing at a faster rate, which shows that the comparative advantages of my country's manufacturing industry are changing.
Bai Ming, a researcher at the Research Institute of the Ministry of Commerce, believes that the upgrading of foreign trade depends more on the upgrading of industries. This is a gradual process and cannot be accomplished overnight. my country's high-speed rail, nuclear power, etc. have made great achievements in the process of "going out", and the export competitiveness of Chinese manufacturing is improving. But we must also see that there is still a gap between its competitiveness and the standards of a trading power. In general, my country's foreign trade development mode is undergoing a transformation, relying more on the improvement of comprehensive competitiveness in technology, brand, service, etc. to stimulate exports. We should not only vigorously develop and optimize the trade structure and develop e-commerce, but also continue to promote industrial upgrading in combination with the current mass entrepreneurship and innovation. Among them, labor-intensive industries such as clothing and fabrics also have room for improvement.
In 2016, the domestic and international situation faced by China's foreign trade was very complicated and severe, and the downward pressure was still very high. Economists generally predict that China's exports may continue to surpass the world this year, but due to global demand factors, the market for Chinese goods will only grow at a moderate rate.
In this year's government work report, it is proposed to solidly promote the construction of the "Belt and Road", expand international production capacity cooperation, and promote the innovative development of foreign trade. We must base ourselves on the present and focus on the long-term, and accelerate the transformation of the driving force for foreign trade structural adjustment.