Liao Xiaoqi, China's vice commerce minister, wrote an article that was published in Wednesday's overseas edition of the People's Daily that discussed Sino-US trade relations. The following are the main points of his article:
Sino-US trade relations are one of the world's most crucial bilateral trade relations. Since China and the United States established diplomatic relations 26 years ago, bilateral trade and cooperation have improved and expanded to various economic fields. Bilateral trade volume rose from US$2.5 billion in 1979 to US$169.4 billion in 2004.
As at the end of 2004, the number of investment projects the US had in China was 45,000, representing a total investment of US$48 billion. Sino-US trade volume for the first ten months of this year was valued at US$127.3 billion, representing a 26.2 percent increase over the same period last year. Presently, the US is China's second largest trading partner, while China is the third largest for the US.
The biggest increases were seen in US exports to China. In 2001, China became the US' ninth largest export market; and in 2004, the fifth. From January to August this year, US exports to China surpassed its exports to Britain for the first time. Between 2001 and 2004, US exports to China saw an increase of 21.85 percent, while the second biggest annual increase for US' top ten export markets was only 7.65 percent, which was Holland.
Mutual benefit and win-win are the significant features of Sino-US trade cooperation. The two countries' economies are supplementary and strengthening bilateral trade cooperation works for the benefit of the two countries' economic development and can bring real benefit to their peoples.
China's exports to the US over the years have not only boosted China's own economy. They have also helped the US to meet market demands. They've even helped reduce expenses for Americans. A report by investment bank Morgan Stanley shows that over the past 10 years, low-priced and high quality Chinese goods helped American consumers save over US$600 billion. The figure for 2004 alone is US$100 billions. Young American parents saved US$400 million by buying Chinese-made children's wear.
Conversely, American companies make huge profits from bilateral Sino-US trade. In 2004, China was indirectly involved in the creation of between 4 and 8 million jobs for the US. In addition to airplanes and fertilizers, China imports enormous amount of wheat, soybean and oranges from the US every year. While these imports meet China's own demand, they also lend strong impetus to the US economy and employment.
American companies have also reaped generous returns on their investments in China. US investments in China include manufacturing, telecommunication, banking, insurance, research and development, transportation, agriculture, and food and beverage. Statistics show American companies in China sold a total of US$75 billion worth of products to Chinese consumers in 2004, almost equal to the value of goods sold to markets outside of China.
According to a white paper published in September by the American Chamber of Commerce, 93 percent of American companies in China believe China's economic reform has improved the business environment for American enterprises; 92 percent are optimistic or cautiously optimistic about their business prospects in China for at least the next five years; 86 percent have reported higher revenues while 68 percent are profitable or highly profitable; and 42 percent reported higher profits in China than elsewhere in the world.
The white paper concludes that American enterprises have confidence in China's business environment and desire to solve business problems through constructive dialogue. This proves that the US' investment not only helps boost China's economy, but also offers unprecedented opportunities for American enterprises.
(China.org.cn by Wind Gu, December 4, 2005)