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Gov't unmoved by slow exports
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The Ministry of Commerce remains optimistic about trade for the rest of the year and will maintain the policies adopted in the beginning of the year despite widespread concerns over the export slowdown, according to the vice-minister of commerce.

The current trade figures are within the government's expectations, and the export slowdown is the result of trade policy adjustments initiated earlier this year, Vice-Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng said.

The growth rate of exports slowed to 21.9 percent for the first half, compared with the 27.6 percent increase over the same period last year. Exports for June alone went up only by 17.6 percent, much slower than the 28.1 percent rise in May.

Despite these figures, Gao said the Ministry of Commerce remains optimistic about the outlook in the second half of the year. "We estimate exports will maintain reasonable growth," said Gao. "The trade balance has improved, in accordance with our goals at the beginning of the year."

Trade balance and a structural adjustment of exports have been on the agenda of macro control measures initiated this year, and the recent trade data show these measures have started to work, said Gao.

Figures of the first half show imports rose rapidly and composition of the export basket changed. In contrast with the export slowdown, imports went up 30.6 percent. Export of electronic and machinery products, which takes up over half of the overall exports, jumped 25.3 percent to $389 billion. Export of hi-tech products also increased rapidly, up 21.8 percent, to $196 billion.

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