China's imports and exports will reach US$1 trillion, and sales for consumer goods and production will reach 15 trillion yuan (US$1811.6 billion) in 2004, said Bo Xilai, China's Minister of Commerce in Beijing Sunday.
Bo made the remarks at the WICO (World Industrial and Commercial Organizations) -Summit that opened in Beijing Sunday. The summit focuses on promoting cooperation in international industrial and commercial circles. More than 300 officials from 70-plus ICOs attended the two-day summit.
In 2003, the total import and export volume of China reached US$850 billion, the 4th largest worldwide. From January to July this year, the total amount of imports and exports of China reached US$623.1 billion, up 38 percent over last year.
"With the current development trend, it is estimated that the imports and exports of this year will be over US$1,000 billion," Bo said.
China needs to import large amounts of goods to satisfy a growing domestic demand, he said.
In the past 25 years, the growth rate of goods imported to China was 15 percent, 10 percent higher than the average worldwide. With US$410 billion of imports worldwide, China is the third largest importing country after the United States and Germany.
Imports will amount to US$500 billion this year, and in 2010, to US$1,000 billion, Bo said
Many foreign enterprises have benefited from China's growing demand of imports, Bo said.
"China, in line with the principle of generally balancing imports and exports, will continuously expand imports," he said.
According to Bo, China will provide high quality and inexpensive goods to the international market. Meanwhile, China will continue to import large amounts of equipment of advanced technology, products of high and new technology, raw materials, and competitive consumables.
He said the Chinese government will also focus its efforts on promoting a new round of multilateral trade negotiation and enhancing bilateral and regional economic and trade corporation.
"We actively assert to drive the trade liberalization and facilitation, and say no to trade protectionism in any form," he said.
Overall market sales to reach US$1.8 trillion
Sales for consumer goods and production will reach 15 trillion yuan (US$1811.6 billion) in China market in 2004.
In 2003, the market for consumer goods and production means was13.3 trillion yuan. Retail sales in China reached 4,600 billion yuan, an increase of 9.1 percent over the previous year. In the first half of 2004, retail sales of consumer goods are 2,500 billion, with a 12.8 percent increase, a record since 1998.
Bo said the household consuming power has increased significantly. Urban households have began to consume goods at a price ranging from 10,000 yuan to 100,000 yuan, while rural households have stepped to consume goods at a price ranging from 1,000 yuan to 10,000 yuan.
"Housing, automobile, electric telecommunications, tourism, and education have become new consuming trends in urban and rural families," he said.
"The market scale of China still has great potential of development in the future," he said.
By 2010, there will be 100 million middle class families in China, and the assets of per household will be more than US$70,000. By 2020, the Chinese market will be second next to the United States, Bo said.
Bo said China will insist on promoting consumption to expand domestic demand, perfecting consuming policies, improving consuming environment and further expanding the scale of home market.
"We will focus on fostering new consuming growth areas such as housing, automobiles, tourism, information, and education, continue the drive of opening the market both domestically and internationally, rectify and standardize the market order, and strength the legal framework of market, in order to create an environment of fair competition for both domestic and foreign enterprises," he said.
(Xinhua News Agency September 20, 2004)