China's hi-tech imports and exports grew 8.6 percent from a year earlier to $754.8 billion in 2008, 12.6 percentage points lower than 2007's growth, dragged down by the global financial crisis, official data showed on Wednesday.
Hi-tech imports increased a slight 3.5 percent from a year earlier to $339.2 billion in 2008, 13.9 percentage points below the growth in 2007, China Customs said.
Hi-tech exports climbed 13.1 percent from a year earlier to $415.6 billion in 2008, down 11.7 percentage points from 2007's growth, figures showed.
The monthly growth rate of China's hi-tech foreign trade began to fall sharply last May. China's hi-tech imports and exports recorded their first negative monthly growth last November since the country joined the WTO in 2001, the agency said.
China Customs said the slowing growth in hi-tech foreign trade in 2008 was mainly due to slack overseas demand caused by the global financial crisis, the increasing ability of Chinese domestic firms to supply products that were once primarily imports and the appreciation of the local currency.