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Foreign trade volume to hit US$840b
( 2003-12-29 08:04) (China Daily)

China's total foreign trade volume will reach US$840 billion this year and the inflow of actual foreign direct investment (FDI) will level with last year's US$52.7 billion, said Vice-Premier Wu Yi addressing the annual meeting of the Ministry of Commerce.

To increase FDI flow to China next year, Wu said China will keep its favourable policies towards foreign investors untouched.

China's FDI in the first 11 months was US$47.2 billion, up a mere 0.2 per cent from a year earlier.

But this is a big achievement considering the global capital flow dropped this year due to the gloomy world economic climate.

"When the world economy warms up again, China should be prepared to attract more foreign investment," Wu said.

More destinations favoured by foreign investors, like the Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta, will benefit when foreign investors move some industries outside developed countries.

"China will further open its financing, commercial and tourism industries to foreign investors," Wu promised.

On the issue of foreign trade, Wu said the US$840 billion predicted for this year was unexpected and demonstrates fast growth, compared to US$620 last year.

Exports are expected to reach US$430 billion while imports will climb to US$410 billion.

But analysts expect that it will be difficult to maintain a high growth rate for exports next year, which is partly led by rising trade friction and cuts in tax rebates set for next year.

To solve the problem, Wu urged local industries to use more high-technologies and increase the added value of exports.

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