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China-Japan trade sets H1 record
( 2003-08-21 17:15) (Agencies)

Sino-Japanese trade set a record in the first half of 2003 for the fourth consecutive year, with the impact of SARS lighter than anticipated, the Japan External Trade Organization said Thursday.

Chinese models promote Sony products in Beijing. The struggling Japanese technology giant aims to turn China into its second largest market after the United States by 2008. [Agencies via Xinhua]
Trade between the two major Asian economies jumped 34% from the same period of the previous year to $60.44 billion, JETRO said.

Leading Japanese exports to China were electronic parts for personal computers, mobile and PHS phones, industrial machinery and automobiles. China absorbed $25.76 billion of Japanese exports in the six months, a sharp 49% rise from a year earlier.

Japanese imports from China increased by 24% to $34.69 billion, a turnaround from last year's 0.8% decline. Reflecting some Japanese manufacturers' shift of production bases to China, imports of office equipment leapt 63%, while imports of audiovisual equipment, such as DVD players, jumped 23%.

China's share of Japan's global trade in the first half of 2003 reached an all-time high, increasing by 2.1 percentage points to 14.9%.

Although the U.S. continues to be Japan's top export market, with China coming second, the Chinese market is gaining prominence - Japanese exports to the U.S. dropped 1.1% year-on-year, while Japanese exports to China surged about 50%, JETRO said.

A further shifting of production to China by Japanese manufacturers and healthy Chinese domestic demand will likely continue to increase imports and exports of electronic and automobile parts, construction machinery and other general machinery, the trade body said.

As a result, JETRO said, Sino-Japanese trade is certain to set a fifth consecutive annual record for the whole of 2003.

The figures, which include both imports and exports, are based on dollar conversions of yen-denominated statistics released by the Ministry of Finance.

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