BEIJING - China said Wednesday that its strong growth in foreign trade during the past decade has significantly contributed to world economic growth.
From 2000 to 2009, the average annual growth rates of China's exports and imports were 17 percent and 15 percent, respectively, much higher than the 3 percent annual growth of total world trade, according to a white paper released by the Information Office of the State Council Wednesday.
The development of China's foreign trade has not only accelerated the modernization of its economy and improved people's living standard, but also been a significant force contributing to world economic growth, the white paper said.
Since 2001, China's import of goods has increased by approximately five times, representing an annual growth rate of around 20 percent.
China's rapidly expanding imports have become a major driving force for global economic growth, creating an enormous market for its trading partners to augment their exports, according to the document.
At present, China is the largest export market for Japan, Republic of Korea, Australia, ASEAN, Brazil and South Africa, the second largest for the EU, and the third largest for the US and India.
During the international financial meltdown, China's foreign trade was among the first to stabilize, greatly promoting the recovery of the world economy, the white paper said.
In 2009, global goods imports decreased by 12.8 percent, while China's goods imports increased by 2.9 percent, making it the only country to maintain growth among the world's largest economies.
The strong demand from China sustained the exports of many countries hit by the financial crisis and shored up global confidence, giving a new momentum to the world's economic recovery and growth.
Meanwhile, China is one of the developing countries granting the largest market access to the least-developed countries (LDCs).
By July 2010 China had granted zero-tariff treatment to over 4,700 commodities from 36 LDCs which had established diplomatic ties with China. The zero-tariff commodities accounted for 60 percent of the total imports from those countries, according to the white paper.
China has promised to continue expanding its preferential treatment to the LDCs having diplomatic ties with China until the zero-tariff commodities reach 97 percent of the total imports from those countries.
The development of China's foreign trade has also enhanced the welfare of its trading partners, as it provides inexpensive and quality products to meet the diversified demands of the global market.
China's advantages including economy of scale and low processing costs have played an important role in curbing global inflation and raising the real purchasing power of consumers of its trading partners, according to the document.
The Chinese government also actively advocates a balanced and mutually beneficial multilateral trade system, and strives to establish a fair and equitable new international economic and trade order, the white paper said.