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China trade to reach US$1.1 trillion in 2004
Updated: 2004-10-26 00:41

China's total trade volume will reach 1.1 trillion US dollars in 2004 -- up 30 percent over 2003 -- with a trade surplus of about 10 billion US dollars, said Assistant Minister of Commerce Yi Xiaozhun.

China still faces difficult challenges in its efforts to maintain the sustainable development of foreign trade, mainly due to ever-changing international environment and lingering in-depth problems with its foreign trade, Yi said Sunday while addressing a conference on the promotion of exports from private companies.

 The most eminent problem next year will be trade friction in textiles exports following the unification of the global textile market, Yi noted.

 According to its agreement with the World Trade Organization, China's passive quota of textiles will be abolished on Jan. 1, 2005. Strong competition from China's textile industry has aroused concern from both developing and developed nations. The United States and the European Union have repeatedly asked China to slow down its soaring textile industry.

 Extensive growth is another major hindrance to the sound growth of China's foreign trade, Yi acknowledged, as is the lack of its own brands and intellectual property, especially the intellectual property of core technology.

Intellectual property shortage has already caused lower prices in some Chinese products. Figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics show that China's export volume of color TVs rose 36. 1 percent year to year in January - September period, while the price dropped 5.1 percent.

 Export prices for ships, carpets, shoes and other goods also saw declines to varying degrees along with increased export volume.

Moreover, the soaring prices of energy and raw materials plus the tight-supply of coal, electricity and oil, will also weaken China's competitive advantages in exports, Yi said.

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