Opening to the outside world has greatly promoted the development of China’s foreign trade. Between 1979 and 1999, China’s foreign trade volume increased by 15.3 percent annually. In 2000, the three targets directly related to the import and export trade all exceeded the US$ 200-billion mark for the first time, with the total export volume coming to US$ 249.2 billion, the total import volume US$ 225.1 billion and Customs duties US$ 242.1 billion.
In 2001, China’s import and export trade volume topped the US$ 500-billion mark, to attain the grand total of US$ 509.47 billion, the export volume being US$ 266.16 billion and import volume US$243.61 billion. At present, more than 220 countries and regions in the world have had trade exchanges with China. China’s 10 major trade partners are: Japan, the United States, the European Union (EU), the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Republic of Korea, Taiwan Province, Australia, Russia and Canada.