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Foreign Trade to Retain Fast Growth in 2004: Ministry of Commerce

China's foreign trade will continue to grow rapidly in 2004, according to a report released by the Ministry of Commerce.


The report on the trade and investment environment of foreign countries in 2004 said the trade volume of imports and exports will reach or surpass US$1,000 billion, up 17 percent over last year.


The trade volume of exports will reach US$505 billion and the imports will reach US$495 billion, up 15 percent and 20 percent respectively.


The report said China's foreign trade in 2003 maintained the momentum it had since the latter half of 2002 and China has become the fourth largest trade country in the world.


The report predicted that exports of China still have much potential in 2004.


But the complicated international situations have posed a threat to the global economy and the prices of raw materials in China continued to increase. This can affect the export, said the report.


At present the imports also continue to increase for large domestic demands but it will depend on the development of investment and the effect of the macro-regulation of the government.


The report said China should pay attention to the following issues in foreign trade: first is it becomes more difficult to maintain a balance of trade; second is the prices of raw materials will affect the export; third is China's commitments to the World Trade Organization to be performed this year are very tough; and the fourth is that the protectionism in the global economy has gained ground.


This is the second annual report that the Ministry of Commerce has released on the trade and investment environment of foreign countries.


The report involves some 19 countries, whose two-way trade volume with China accounts for 70 percent of the overall trade volume of China in 2003.


(Xinhua News Agency May 22, 2004)


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