China is expected to overtake Germany as the world's top merchandise exporter this year due to a weak performance of the European economy, an official with the World Trade Organization said Wednesday.
WTO chief economist Patrick Low made the remarks at a two-day gathering of trade ministers from APEC economies in Singapore.
Figures from the global trade body show that China's merchandise export totaled 1.428 trillion US dollars last year, slightly below Germany's 1.465 trillion US dollars.
The organization also predicted that global trade will plunge by 10 percent this year, the largest decline in six decades, the Financial Times reported. But the rate of decline is easing, said Pascal Lamy, Director-General of WTO at the trade ministers' meeting.
"WTO data show that Asian countries are leading a recovery in the global trade," Lamy said.
International financial institutions also predicted that as the world economy gradually pulls out of the recession, led by emerging economies later this year, China will benefit from recovering trade.
In a survey among 240 multinational companies on global investment outlook released yesterday, the United States Conference on Trade and Investment found that China, which achieved a GDP growth of nearly 8 percent in the second quarter, remains the top destination for foreign direct investment, followed by the US and the remaining three Brick countries (India, Brazil, and Russia).
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(China.org.cn July 23, 2009)