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

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Beijing Youth Daily:

How did China's imports and exports with other BRICS countries go in the first half of the year? What efforts have been made by the customs in promoting the economic and trade development between China and other BRICS countries? And how do you evaluate the prospect? Thanks.

Li Kuiwen:

Thank you for your questions. As the BRICS chair this year, China held the 14th BRICS Summit recently. Here I would like to make an introduction about our trade with other BRICS countries. Since the BRICS Summit started in 2009, China has seen increasing trade with other BRICS countries, and the imports and exports registered 3.17 trillion yuan in 2021 from 960.21 billion yuan in 2009, with an average annual growth of 10.5%. In the first half of the year, China's imports and exports with other BRICS countries totaled 1.64 trillion yuan, up 14.1% year on year, 4.7 percentage points higher than China's total foreign trade growth. Among them, exports leaped by 20.6% to 817.18 billion yuan; imports jumped by 8.3% to 825.82 billion yuan. Specifically, it shows the following features:

First, China's trade with other BRICS countries has registered a steadily increasing proportion in its total foreign trade. In the first half of the year, China's imports and exports with other BRICS countries accounted for 8.3% of its total foreign trade, up 0.2 percentage point from 2021 and 1.9 percentage points from 2009.

Second, imports of energy and agricultural products grew rapidly. In the first half of the year, China imported 298.98 billion yuan of crude oil, natural gas, coal, and other energy products from other BRICS countries, up 53.3%, accounting for 36.2% of its total imports with other BRICS countries; China's imports of agricultural products expanded 15.6% to 185.46 billion yuan, accounting for 22.5% of its total imports with other BRICS countries.

Third, exports of mechanical and electrical products accounted for more than half, and exports of new energy products increased significantly. In the first half of the year, China's exports of mechanical and electrical products to other BRICS countries reached 455.5 billion yuan, up 16.2%, accounting for 55.7% of the total exports to these countries. Exports of solar and lithium-ion batteries increased by 99.7% and 67.3%, respectively. In the same period, exports of labor-intensive products reached 106.65 billion yuan, up 7.3%. 

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce the recent work of customs authorities in promoting the economic and trade development of China and other BRICS countries.

The GACC successfully organized a series of events this year, including a meeting of BRICS heads of customs administrations, customs working group arrangements, and customs enforcement cooperation seminars to promote pragmatic cooperation among BRICS countries in various fields. Relevant achievements have been brought into the 14th BRICS Summit Beijing Declaration. We have made our efforts in the following four aspects:

First, the legal basis for customs cooperation has been enhanced. We actively facilitated the Agreement Between the Governments of BRICS Countries on Cooperation and Mutual Administrative Assistance in Customs Matters. This will provide a solid legal basis for BRICS countries to carry out mutual administrative assistance, capacity building, law enforcement cooperation, and jointly safeguard trade security and facilitation. 

Second, an intelligent cooperation consensus has been reached. Upholding the philosophy of cooperation of smart customs, smart borders, and smart connectivity, we promoted the construction of smart infrastructure for customs exchanges of BRICS countries and the smart practice of supervision and administration, carried out coordinated cross-border governance of border administration departments step by step, promoted smart connectivity and alignment of standards among customs authorities and other stakeholders along supply chains to boost connectivity of industrial and supply chains. 

Third, customs law enforcement cooperation has been deepened. Guided by the principle of collaboration, co-governance, and common gains, we built a customs enforcement contact platform and capacity-building platform for BRICS countries. We promoted cooperation in areas of information exchanges and joint actions. We enabled smart collaboration to empower customs law enforcement, discussed the application of bid data analysis and artificial intelligence in law enforcement, and enhanced the law enforcement capacity to deal with new forms of smuggling to jointly build a defense line of customs with other BRICS countries. 

Fourth, cooperation on customs capacity building has been strengthened. Making full use of the customs training center of BRICS countries in Xiamen, we carried out training exchanges and prepared for a strategic seminar on customs capacity building of BRICS countries. We promoted capacity-building cooperation in customs technologies, joint law enforcement, and talent training. 

Next, customs authorities will conscientiously implement the guiding principles of General Secretary Xi Jinping's speech at the 14th BRICS Summit. We will comprehensively deepen international customs cooperation among BRICS countries and further promote the economic and trade development of our country and other BRICS countries. We are full of confidence in the future economic and trade development of the BRICS countries. 

Thank you!

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