China's trade surplus likely to drop in March

By Diao Ying (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-04-10 09:05

China's trade surplus may see noticeable change in March after the surge in January and February, according to Vice-Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng.

Gao made the comment at a news conference for the China International Garment and Textiles Fair.

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The first two months of the year saw an unexpected increase in the trade surplus. The combined total of $39.7 billion was triple that of a year earlier.

"The surplus of roughly $40 billion in January and February is not indicative of the trend for the first quarter and the rest of the year," said Gao.

The trade surplus saw a sharp increase in the first two months because the Spring Festival holiday fell in February this year, said Gao.

Gao said there would be noticeable change in the data for March.

In terms of foreign trade policy, the government will continue building a system that helps balance imports and exports, according to Gao.

And he said the situation will see gradual improvement. "The effect of last year's policy will be seen this year."

Exports in the textiles sector have been stable, with an increase of 20 to 25 percent.

Exports of textiles and garments reached $144 billion in 2006, up 26.2 percent. Imports amounted to $18.1 billion, up 5.6 percent.

An earlier report said the government planned to cut rebates for garment exports, but Gao said the ministry had no immediate plans to reduce export tax rebates.

Vice-Minister of Commerce Wei Jianguo said yesterday that China would introduce more policies to boost hi-tech and machinery imports, especially from countries that had a large deficit with China.

"One of the main ways to trim the trade surplus is by increasing imports of advanced technology and key equipment," Wei said.

China's trade surplus reached $177.47 billion in 2006.

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