SCIO briefing on China's import and export performance of 2020

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, January 15, 2021
Adjust font size:



Li Kuiwen, spokesperson and director of the Department of Statistics & Analysis of the General Administration of Customs


Shou Xiaoli, deputy head of the Press Bureau of the State Council Information Office


Jan. 14, 2021

Shou Xiaoli:

Ladies and gentlemen, good morning. Welcome to this press conference from the State Council Information Office (SCIO). This is a routine press conference on China's annual economic standing. Today, we are delighted to be joined by Mr. Li Kuiwen, spokesperson and director of the Department of Statistics & Analysis of the General Administration of Customs, who will introduce China's import and export performance of 2020 and answer your questions.

Now, let's give the floor to Mr. Li.

Li Kuiwen:

Ladies and gentlemen, friends from the media, good morning. It's a great pleasure to meet with you. I'll begin by introducing China's import and export performance of 2020, and then answer your questions.

In 2020, China faced a grave and complex domestic and international landscape and a severe economic impact posed by COVID-19. Under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, China was the only major economy to realize positive economic growth last year, with its foreign trade exceeding expectations and registering a historical high. According to statistics from the General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China (GACC), China's total foreign trade of goods expanded 1.9% year on year to 32.16 trillion yuan (about 4.97 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2020. Exports grew by 4% to 17.93 trillion yuan, while imports declined by 0.7% to 14.23 trillion yuan. The trade surplus increased by 27.4% to 3.7 trillion yuan. There are six main reasons for these changes:

Li Kuiwen:

First, foreign trade reached a historical high. The global economy and trade have taken strong hits in 2020 and China faced a severely complex external environment for foreign trade. In spite of these challenges, China's foreign trade has rapidly rebounded and steadily grown, displaying its great resilience and comprehensive competitiveness. From June 2020, China registered positive growth in foreign trade for seven consecutive months and hit a record high in total foreign trade volume, exports, and the international market share, becoming the only major economy with positive growth in trade of goods last year. China's role as the world's largest trader in goods has been further consolidated. According to data from the World Trade Organization (WTO) and countries around the world, China's exports, imports, and the two combined in the first ten months of 2020 accounted for 14.2%, 11.5%, and 12.8% of the international market, respectively, all reaching historical highs.

Second, foreign trade entities have been further energized. In 2020, China has 531,000 enterprises with exports' and imports' record, an increase of 6.2% year on year. Meanwhile, China's private sector registered 14.98 trillion yuan in imports and exports, an increase of 11.1%, accounting for 46.6% of the country's total foreign trade volume and 3.9 percentage points higher than the previous year. The private sector played an important part in stabilizing foreign trade, further consolidating its role as the biggest foreign trade entity. Foreign-invested enterprises marked 12.44 trillion in foreign trade, making up 38.7% of the country's total foreign trade volume. State-owned enterprises accumulated 4.61 trillion yuan in imports and exports, accounting for 14.3% of all foreign trade.

Third, our trading partners are diversifying. In 2020, China's trade with its five major trading partners, namely, ASEAN, European Union, the United States, Japan, and South Korea, reached 4.74 trillion yuan, 4.5 trillion yuan, 4.06 trillion yuan, 2.2 trillion yuan, and 1.97 trillion yuan, up by 7%, 5.3%, 8.8%, 1.2%, and 0.7%, respectively. In addition, trade with countries along the Belt and Road reached 9.37 trillion yuan, up 1%.

Fourth, trade modes have been continuously optimized. In 2020, China's general trade increased by 3.4% to 19.25 trillion yuan, accounting for 59.9% of China's total foreign trade volume, 0.9 percentage points higher than the previous year. Exports grew by 6.9% to 10.65 trillion yuan, while imports fell by 0.7% to 8.6 trillion yuan. Processing trade dropped by 3.9% to 7.64 trillion yuan, accounting for 23.8% of the total foreign trade volume.

Fifth, exports of traditionally competitive products maintained growth. In 2020, China's exports of electromechanical products increased by 6% to 10.66 trillion yuan, making up 59.4% of the country's total exports, and increasing 1.1 percentage year on year. Exports of laptops, home appliances, and medical equipment went up by 20.4%, 24.2%, and 41.5%, respectively. At the same time, exports of seven types of labor-intensive products including textiles and clothes rose by 6.2% to 3.58 trillion yuan. Exports of textile products including face masks surged by 30.4% to 1.07 trillion yuan.

Sixth, exports of anti-epidemic supplies provided strong support for the global combat against COVID-19. China has been playing its part as the world's largest supplier of anti-epidemic materials by proactively carrying out international cooperation to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, and making the utmost efforts to provide and export anti-epidemic materials to over 200 countries and regions. From March to December 2020, customs authorities across China cleared major anti-epidemic supplies worth 438.5 billion yuan, showing China's commitment as a responsible major player in the fight against COVID-19 worldwide. Meanwhile, exports of products in the "stay-at-home economy," such as laptops, grew by 8.5% to 2.51 trillion yuan, meeting the needs of people across the globe living and working at home during the pandemic.

Li Kuiwen:

In 2020, China made outstanding achievements in foreign trade, which did not come easily amid unprecedented challenges and difficulties. This is the result of the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, which speaks volumes of the resilience and vitality of China's foreign trade. China customs also played its part with relentless efforts. Over the past year, we firmly implemented the decisions and plans of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council; carried out the work in a timely and pragmatic manner; stabilized foreign trade growth by introducing a number of policies while preventing and controlling the cross-border spread of COVID-19, and; strengthened supervision efforts and improved services to ensure stable and high-quality foreign trade.

In 2021, the world faces further uncertainties brought about by the pandemic and global landscape. The global economic situation is still grave and complex, posing uncertainties and instabilities to foreign trade growth. China customs will follow the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, implement the spirit of the 19th National Congress of the CPC, the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th plenary session of the 19th Central Committee of the CPC and the Central Economic Work Conference, and adhere to the principle of seeking progress while ensuring stability. China customs will stick to its new development philosophy and foster a new development paradigm in the new development stage, maintain security in the six areas in order to ensure stability on the six fronts, strengthen supervision efforts and improve services, and continuously optimize the business environment at ports to strive for higher-level opening-up and quality development of foreign trade. GACC will contribute to a good start of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) in the development of foreign trade and commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC via great achievements.

Next, I'll be answering your questions.

Shou Xiaoli:

Thank you, Mr. Li. Now the floor is open to questions. Please identify your news outlet before raising questions.

1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  >  

Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:    
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from