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Central, western areas to play larger trade role

Updated: 2012-06-13 09:20
By Li Jiabao ( China Daily)

Central, western areas to play larger trade role

Wind power equipment ready to be exported at a company in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province. [Photo/China Daily] 

Companies in energy, grain sectors have chance to lift competitiveness

More companies in the central and western regions of the country are joining the ranks of the nation's top 500 foreign traders, according to a report by the Statistical Society for Foreign Economic Relations and Trade of China.

China Petrochemical Corp retained its top spot on the list with a trade volume of $111.9 billion last year, while Shanghai Roche Pharmaceuticals Co Ltd was at the bottom with a trade volume of $707.9 million.

The trade volume of the top 500 foreign traders has grown annually since 1996 and stood at $1.357 trillion last year, up 20.48 percent year-on-year, accounting for 37.26 percent of China's foreign trade last year, according to the report.

"The top 500 foreign traders are the 'cornerstone' of China's foreign trade and have a key role in helping meet the government's trade growth goal of 10 percent this year," said Liu Kuangyuan, the association's president.

"Structural changes in these 500 companies reflect the development of the country's foreign trade."

China's foreign trade grew 7.7 percent in the first five months of this year, according to the General Administration of Customs.

Commerce Minister Chen Deming said on Monday that the best possible outlook for China's foreign trade growth this year could be around 10 percent, but he warned that challenging conditions would remain in the rest of the year.

The top 500 companies' share of exports dropped from 37.88 percent in 2010 to 37.26 percent last year.

Share of imports by these companies edged up to 45.11 percent last year from 44.22 percent in 2010, which is "closely related to China's strong demand for bulk commodities including energy, resources and agricultural products", said the report.

"China's imports in the next half of this year will see quite fast growth because China maintains a vigorous demand for raw materials and customs duties for consumer commodities were reduced recently. The whole year will see almost balanced trade with a small trade surplus," said Xiang Songzuo, chief economist of Agricultural Bank of China.

"China's trade this year will grow by 10.7 percent year-on-year while exports will grow 9.4 percent and imports will increase by 12.1 percent. Given a stable international market, China will see faster trade growth in 2013, but it will remain slower than 2010," Liu said.


Major companies from the petrochemical, energy, oil and grain sectors figure prominently on the list.

These companies have great potential to increase their competitiveness, said the report.

"Companies from the petrochemical, electronics, oil and grain industries can still hold leading positions on the list in the short term, but more and more companies from others industries, especially high-tech, are now joining the list," Liu said.

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