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Foreign trade falls 0.6% in October

By ZHONG NAN in Zhuzhou and JING SHUIYU in Beijing | China Daily | Updated: 2016-11-09 06:50

Foreign trade falls 0.6% in October

An export-oriented toy-making plant in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province. SI WEI/FOR CHINA DAILY

As both exports and imports failed to meet early forecasts, China foreign trade decreased to 2.05 trillion yuan ($307.2 billion) in October, down 0.6 percent from the same period last year, Customs data showed on Tuesday.

China's exports declined 3.2 percent year-on-year to 1.19 trillion yuan in October, the seventh straight month of decline, and imports increased by 3.2 percent, according to the General Administration of Customs.

Data showed the foreign trade surplus narrowed to 325.25 billion yuan in October, down 16.8 percent from last October.

The leading index for China's exports shrank to 35.6 from 35.8 a month earlier, the first month-on-month decline since the past three months.

Wang Dongtang, deputy director-general of the Ministry of Commerce's Department of Foreign Trade, said the government would continue to help processing trade move further up the value chain by introducing new supervision and control models in the processing, logistics and the service sector.

"The government has already started to optimize the industrial structure across the country. It has worked with related government branches in making adjustments to nearly 2,000 items on the processing trade negative list to phase out high-energy-consuming, highly polluting and resource-hungry industries," said Wang.

In the first 10 months of this year, China imported more commodities at cheaper prices.

China's exports to its top trading partners varied across the regions in January to October. Exports to the European Union grew 1 percent and to Japan by 0.5 percent from the same period last year, while export to the United States fell 2 percent, and export to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations declined 1.8 percent.

Eager to restore their earning strength, Chinese manufacturers are upgrading their products to cope with the challenge.

Liu Yang, deputy general manager of CRRC Zhuzhou Institute Co Ltd, an electric bus manufacturer in Hunan province, said the company will establish between seven and 10 sales and service branches in Southeast Asia, India, Canada and Middle East over the next three years as many countries are keen to adopt electric buses to further cut carbon emissions and reduce fuel costs.

"Traditional industries must extend cooperation in areas such as infrastructure, energy, environment and services," said Liu.

CRRC Zhuzhou Institute has already exported electric buses and related power systems to Brazil, Canada and Southeast Asian countries over the past three years.

As a subsidiary of China Railway Rolling Stock Corp, the country's largest train manufacturer, CRRC Zhuzhou Institute will also invest 1.5 billion yuan in Shijiazhuang, the capital of Hebei, to build another manufacturing base to focus on domestic demand from the coordinated development of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province. These cities are also facing severe environmental issues.

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