SCIO briefing on China's import and export performance in H1 2022

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Li Kuiwen, spokesperson of the General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China (GACC) and director general of the GACC's Department of Statistics & Analysis


Shou Xiaoli, deputy director general of the Press Bureau of the State Council Information Office (SCIO) and spokesperson of the SCIO


July 13, 2022

Shou Xiaoli:

Ladies and gentlemen, good morning. Welcome to this press conference held by the 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 of the GACC and director of the GACC's Department of Statistics & Analysis, who will introduce China's import and export performance in the first half of 2022 and answer your questions.

We will first invite Mr. Li Kuiwen to give a brief introduction.

Li Kuiwen:

Ladies and gentlemen, friends from the media, good morning. It's a great pleasure to meet with you at today's press conference. I'll begin by introducing China's import and export performance in the first half of 2022, and then answer your questions.

In the first half of 2022, under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, China has efficiently contained the pandemic while ensuring socioeconomic development. China has strived to maintain stable macroeconomic performance and achieved steady growth in foreign trade. According to statistics from the GACC, China's foreign trade volume in goods in the first half of 2022 jumped 9.4% year on year to 19.8 trillion yuan. Exports grew by 13.2% to 11.14 trillion yuan, and imports increased by 4.8% to 8.66 trillion yuan. Specifically, there were five main features which I will now outline.

First, foreign trade growth in May and June picked up significantly. As the epidemic prevention and control situation improves and pro-growth policies are taking effect, foreign trade enterprises have resumed work and production in an orderly manner since May. In particular, the rapid recovery of imports and exports in the Yangtze River Delta region led to a marked rebound in the overall growth of China's foreign trade. China's foreign trade volume in goods in May was up by 9.5% year on year, 9.4 percentage points higher than in April, and further increased by 14.3% in June.

Second, the proportion of general trade continued to increase. In the first half of 2022, China's general trade rose by 13.1% to 12.71 trillion yuan, accounting for 64.2% of China's total foreign trade volume, 2.1 percentage points higher than the same period last year. Exports increased by 19% to 7.16 trillion yuan, and imports grew by 6.5% to 5.55 trillion yuan. During the same period, processing trade rose by 3.2% to 4.02 trillion yuan.

Third, imports and exports with major trading partners kept growing. In the first half of 2022, China's trade with ASEAN, the EU and the United States reached 2.95 trillion yuan, 2.71 trillion yuan and 2.47 trillion yuan, up by 10.6%, 7.5% and 11.7%, respectively. During the same period, trade with countries along the Belt and Road and RCEP trading partners grew by 17.8% and 5.6%. 

Fourth, foreign trade entities have been further thriving. In the first half of 2022, there were 506,000 foreign trade enterprises in China involved in exports and imports, an increase of 5.5% year on year. The number of private enterprises in China rose by 6.9% to 425,000 with imports and exports increasing by 13.6% to 9.82 trillion yuan, accounting for 49.6% of the country's total, 1.9 percentage points higher than the same period last year. In the same period, imports and exports of foreign-invested enterprises reached 6.75 trillion yuan, up by 2.1%. State-owned enterprises achieved 3.2 trillion yuan in imports and exports, up by 15.2%. 

Fifth, imports and exports of major products enjoyed steady growth. In the first half of 2022, China's imports and exports of mechanical and electrical products grew by 4.2% to 9.72 trillion yuan, making up 49.1% of China's total foreign trade. Imports and exports of agricultural products grew by 9.3% to 1.04 trillion yuan, accounting for 5.2% of China's total. Exports of labor-intensive products grew by 13.5% to 1.99 trillion yuan, making up 17.8% of China's total exports. Imports of energy products including crude oil, natural gas and coal were up by 53.1% to 1.48 trillion yuan, accounting for 17.1% of China's total imports.

In general, China's foreign trade showed strong resilience in the first half of the year. The first quarter got off to a relatively good start. In May and June, the downward trend of growth in April was quickly reversed, laying a solid foundation for the stability and improvement of foreign trade throughout the year. At present, as the COVID-19 situation and international environment have become more severe and complex, China's foreign trade is still facing some instability and uncertainty and a lot of pressure to maintain stability and improve quality. However, it should also be noted that the fundamentals of China's economy — its strong resilience, huge potential and long-term sustainability — remain unchanged. With the implementation of a package of policies and measures to stabilize the economy, and the orderly resumption of work, China's foreign trade is expected to continue maintaining steady growth.

Next, we will adhere to the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, fully implement the spirit of the 19th CPC National Congress and the plenary sessions of the 19th CPC Central Committee, and conscientiously implement the important guidelines made by General Secretary Xi Jinping that, "we must contain the epidemic, stabilize the economy and keep development secure." We will efficiently coordinate epidemic prevention and control measures with socioeconomic development, resolutely implement the various deployments of the national video and telephone conference on stabilizing the economy, focus on "guarding the country's borders and promoting development," strengthen supervision and optimize services, and strive to promote the stability and improvement of foreign trade. These efforts will enable us to pave the way for a successful 20th CPC National Congress. 

Now, I would be happy to answer your questions.

Shou Xiaoli:

Now the floor is open for questions. Please identify the media outlet you represent before raising questions.

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