SCIO press conference on China's commerce work and development in 2022

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Ms. Guo Tingting, vice minister of commerce

Mr. Yang Tao, director general of the Comprehensive Department of the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM)

Mr. Xu Xingfeng, director general of the Department of Market Operation and Consumption Promotion of MOFCOM

Mr. Li Xingqian, director general of the Department of Foreign Trade of MOFCOM

Ms. Meng Huating, an official at the Department of Foreign Investment Administration of MOFCOM


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


Feb. 2, 2023

Shou Xiaoli:

Friends fro the media, good afternoon. Welcome to this press conference held by the State Council Information Office (SCIO). Today, we have invited Ms. Guo Tingting, vice minister of commerce, to brief you on China's commerce work and development in 2022 and take your questions. We also have with us Mr. Yang Tao, director general of the Comprehensive Department of the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM); Mr. Xu Xingfeng,director general of the Department of Market Operation and Consumption Promotion of MOFCOM; Mr. Li Xingqian, director general of the Department of Foreign Trade of MOFCOM; and Ms. Meng Huating, an official at the Department of Foreign Investment Administration of MOFCOM.

Now, I'll give the floor to Ms. Guo for a brief introduction.

Guo Tingting:

Thank you. Friends from the media, good afternoon. Welcome to today's press conference. As we move beyond the recent seven-day holiday, I would like to extend my belated happy Chinese New Year wishes. I also want to express my deep gratitude for your continued interest in and support for our commerce work. Now, I would like to provide a brief overview of our business operations in 2022.

In 2022, under the strong leadership of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, MOFCOM steadfastly carried out the decisions and deployments of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council. It effectively addressed the impact of unforeseen factors, balanced epidemic control and business development, and effectively implemented a range of policies and follow-up measures to stabilize the economy. The overall business operations made steady progress throughout the year, positively impacting the stability of the overall economic and social landscape. To be specific: 

The consumer market was generally stable. China's retail sales of consumer goods in 2022 hit 44 trillion yuan, basically unchanged from 2021. The trend of new consumption is positive. Online retail sales of physical goods grew by 6.2%, further increasing their share of total social retail sales to 27.2%. Physical retail sales continued to grow, with a 1% increase in retail sales of goods from physical stores above designated size. The market for consumer goods is expanding and customer experience is improving. The demand for upgraded products surged, leading to a 93.4% increase in sales of new energy vehicles.

Foreign trade exceeded expectations. Despite the challenges faced last year, efforts were made across departments and regions to effectively address them. As a result, China's foreign trade hit a new record high with a total of 42.1 trillion yuan, a 7.7% increase year on year, exceeding the 40-trillion-yuan mark. Trade with major partners continued to grow. Imports and exports to the top three trading partners, ASEAN, the European Union and the United States, increased by 15%, 5.6% and 3.7%, respectively. The trade structure has also been optimized. Foreign trade by private firms jumped 12.9% to account for over 50% of the total. The export of labor-intensive products and electromechanical products increased by 8.9% and 7%, respectively. In particular, the export of new energy vehicles and other products has grown rapidly, and the new competitive advantage is rapidly taking shape. Trade in services also grew steadily, reaching 5.98 trillion yuan, a 12.9% increase, with travel and knowledge-intensive services increasing by 8.4% and 7.8%, respectively.

The use of foreign capital continued to grow. China's actual use of foreign capital hit 1.2 trillion yuan in 2022, up 6.3% year-on-year on a comparable basis, once again proving China's continued appeal as a popular destination for foreign investment. The quality of foreign investment continued to improve, with a 46.1% increase in manufacturing investment, accounting for 26.3% of the total, an increase of 7.8 percentage points over 2021. Investment in high-tech industries increased by 28.3%, accounting for 36.1%, with an increase of 7.1 percentage points over the previous year. Investments from major sources of foreign capital continued to grow. Investments from Germany, South Korea and the United Kingdom increased by 52.9%, 64.2% and 40.7%, respectively, and investments from Hong Kong increased by 1.7%. Pacesetters in opening-up have exhibited a positive influence by setting an example. The 21 free trade pilot zones attracted foreign investment amounting to 22.252 billion yuan, representing 18.1% of the national total. Additionally, the 230 national economic development zones attracted foreign investment totaling 259.64 billion yuan, accounting for 21.1% of the national share.

Foreign investment grew steadily. China's non-financial outbound direct investment rose 7.2% to 785.94 billion yuan. Among this, investment in countries along the Belt and Road increased by 7.7%, accounting for 17.9%. In terms of industries, investment in the manufacturing sector increased by 22.4%, accounting for 18.5%; investment in the wholesale and retail industry and construction industry increased by 24.6% and 19.8%, respectively; investment cooperation in green, digital and other fields have become new growth drivers. Foreign contracted projects developed steadily, with a turnover of 1 trillion yuan, an increase of 4.3%; and the number of newly signed projects with a contract value of more than $50 million increased by 59 compared with 2021.

Significant progress was made in bilateral and multilateral cooperation. Head-of-state diplomacy deepened economic and trade ties. Last year, we promoted the G20 and APEC to achieve positive results in the economic and trade field, and successfully held the BRICS Trade Ministers Meeting and Meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Member States Ministers Responsible for Foreign Economic and Foreign Trade. We promoted a package agreement reached at the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference and advanced the substantive conclusion of investment facilitation negotiations. China officially launched negotiations for its accession to the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement. The joint feasibility study for building the "version 3.0" China-ASEAN Free Trade Area was completed and negotiations began. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement came into effect and was implemented with high quality. 30.8% of China's total foreign trade was with other RCEP members.

This year marks the first year of fully implementing the guiding principles of the 20th CPC National Congress. MOFCOM will follow the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, fully implement the guiding principles of the 20th CPC National Congress, and steadfastly carry out the directives from the Central Economic Work Conference. In line with the requirements of the State Council executive meeting, based on our key roles in promoting domestic circulation, dual circulation and fostering a new development pattern, we will focus on restoring and expanding consumption, promoting stable growth, optimizing the structure of foreign trade, and making greater efforts to attract and utilize foreign investment. We will also advance high-level openness and boost market confidence, drive high-quality business development, provide crucial support for stabilizing economic growth, employment and prices, and make positive contributions for comprehensively building a modern socialist country.

Next, my colleagues and I will take your questions. Thank you.

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