China’s foreign trade maintains stable growth amid support measures

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China has seen continued recovery in foreign trade amid government measures to support firms in the sector, official data showed on Monday.

The total value of foreign trade rose 6 percent year-on-year in August to 2.88 trillion yuan (about 421.14 billion U.S. dollars), according to the General Administration of Customs (GAC).

In yuan terms, exports went up 11.6 percent and imports edged down 0.5 percent last month, GAC data showed.

In the first eight months of 2020, the foreign trade of goods dropped 0.6 percent year-on-year to 20.05 trillion yuan, narrowing the decrease in the first seven months by 1.1 percentage points.

During the January-August period, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations remained China’s largest trading partner, with trade up 7 percent year-on-year to 2.93 trillion yuan, accounting for 14.6 percent of China’s total foreign trade.

Trade with the United States decreased 0.4 percent during the period, with imports from the country increasing 0.2 percent, GAC data showed.

The private sector played a bigger role in propelling trade growth in the first eight months, with trade by private enterprises expanding by 8.5 percent to 9.21 trillion yuan and accounting for 45.9 percent of the total, up by 3.9 percentage points from the same period last year.

General trade edged up 0.5 percent year-on-year to 12.09 trillion yuan during the eight-month period, accounting for 60.3 percent of the total, 0.7 percentage points higher than one year ago.

Exports of textile products including masks surged 37.8 percent.

China has rolled out a series of policies including those aimed at optimizing services for firms and increasing export tax rebates to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on foreign trade.

Official data showed China granted export tax rebates or exemptions worth 812.8 billion yuan in the first half of the year to relieve financial pressure on companies.

The country has also stressed innovation in the sector, encouraging the use of cross-border e-commerce platforms and other digital tools to boost trade.

In an interview with Xinhua in August, GAC head Ni Yuefeng said that the country will advance reforms in the regulation of cross-border e-commerce to help businesses better tap into the global market.

The GAC will also further simplify clearance procedures and cut logistics costs to optimize the business environment at ports, Ni said.

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