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Foreign trade sets record in Guangdong
( 2003-08-15 09:05) (China Daily)

Guangdong's foreign trade volume reached a record US$24.17 billion last month, up 21.2 per cent from the corresponding month of the previous year.

Both exports and imports rose to the highest levels recorded in a single month, hitting US$12.81 billion and US$11.36 billion in July, up 22 per cent and 20.3 per cent respectively over the same month last year.

According to a Guangdong Customs official, July's robust foreign trade performance indicates that Guangdong, China's biggest trader, has bounced back from the SARS-related import and export slump in the first half of the year.

And the strong growth in July has helped Guangdong achieve a foreign trade volume of US$148.75 billion in the first seven months of this year, up year-on-year 26.2 per cent, according to statistics released by Guangdong Customs yesterday.

The province's import and export volume from January to July made up 33 per cent of China's total foreign trade.

The province's exports came to US$78.69 billion between January and July, up 25.5 per cent from the same period of the previous year. Guangdong's imports grew even faster at 27.1 per cent to stand at US$70.06 billion.

Guangdong achieved a foreign trade surplus of US$8.63 billion during the January-July period.

Overseas-funded companies and joint ventures are playing an increasingly important role in Guangdong's foreign trade industry.

Exports from overseas-funded firms and joint ventures reached US$48.12 billion in the first seven months, up 33.3 per cent from the same period of 2002.

And the province's State-owned enterprises also sold US$22.45 billion worth of products abroad, growing 1.3 per cent. Private firms have maintained their growth momentum since the beginning of the year.

Their export volume reached US$5.11 billion in the first seven months, 1.5 times more than the figure for the same period last year.

Machinery, electronic and high-tech products witnessed steady growth in exports.

The export volume of machinery and electronic products reached US$50.23 billion in the first seven months, up 32.9 per cent and accounting for 63.8 per cent of the province's total foreign trade.

And the exports of new and high-tech products came to US$23.6 billion, an increase of 47.1 per cent.

Exports of textiles and garments, shoes, toys, furniture and plastic products also enjoyed sustainable growth this year.

Guangdong mainly imported machinery and electronic products, automobiles and parts, finished oil, steel and agricultural products in the first seven months.

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the United States and European Union (EU) continued to be the top three buyers of Guangdong products.

Guangdong sold US$27.53 billion worth of products to neighbouring Hong Kong between January and July, up 21.2 per cent,

Orders from the United States and the EU also reached US$19.01 billion and US$12.23 billion, up 23.8 per cent and 38.8 per cent respectively.

Shenzhen, Dongguan, Guangzhou, Foshan and Zhongshan are the five biggest cities in terms of foreign trade in Guangdong Province this year.

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