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China's Rosy Economy to Continue: Report

China's economy should remain healthy in 2002 and 2003 with strong performances in both gross domestic product (GDP) growth and exports, said an annual report issued by the Economic Committee of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum on Wednesday.

Providing a largely upbeat outlook on the APEC economy in 2002, the report said that developing Asian members will continue to grow with strong exports and industrial production this year.

"Especially China and Viet Nam are expected to register GDP growth around 7 percent. Thanks to the rebounding private demand and big boost from the government sector, China's economic condition should remain healthy in 2002 and 2003," said the document, entitled: The 2002 APEC Economic Outlook.

The 280-page report said that reflecting the recovering global demand and price competitiveness of Chinese goods, exports of the country will continue to perform well.

China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) has also improved its position in inducing foreign direct investment, which would boost the short-term economic outlook, the report said.

Figures from Chinese customs show the trade volume between China and other APEC members grew 18.6 percent to US$287.12 billion, accounting for 74.9 percent of China's total foreign trade, in the first eight months this year.

Of the US$43.97 billion of contracted overseas investment in China in the first half year, 31.08 billion came from APEC members, up 34 percent from the same period of last year, according to figures from the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation (MOFTEC).

The Chinese mainland's major trade partners, including Japan, the United States, Hong Kong, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Republic of Korea, Taiwan Province, Russia, Australia and Canada, are APEC members.

Since China joined APEC in 1991, its trade with other APEC members has accounted for over 70 percent of its total foreign trade, and more than 60 percent of overseas direct investment in China came from APEC members, official sources with MOFTEC said.

As the largest organization for regional economic cooperation, APEC includes developed and developing members, and it is vital for China to participate in regional economic cooperation and to study the experience of other members in order to promote domestic reform and opening-up, MOFTEC officials said.

Since its accession to the WTO, China has taken a more active part in APEC activities through the promotion of cooperation in trade, investment and technology, as well as pushing forward the new round of WTO negotiations in a healthy way, according to the sources.

(Xinhua News Agency October 24, 2002)