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Minister: Exports mix to be adjusted
(Xinhua/China Daily)
Updated: 2004-12-25 00:39

Chinese Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai said on Friday that China's foreign trade is expected to rise moderately with imports and exports keeping a balance sheet next year.

"Foreign trade volume will experience a growth rate of 15 per cent next year," Bo said at an annual meeting of the Ministry of Commerce.

The country notched up trade volume of US$1.04 trillion from January to November, with a surplus of US$20.8 billion.

Bo said China will make more efforts to adjust its export mix to supply more goods with higher added value. Though China has been the world third largest trader, it is still a large player but not a strong player in the field, he said.

Bo also predicted China will have balanced trade next year rather than recording a huge surplus.

For foreign investment, Bo predicted the actual foreign direct investment (FDI) will level with the figure of this year, Bo said.

China's actual FDI was US$57.55 billion from January to November, up 22.05 per cent on a yearly basis. The number for the whole year is expected to be more than US$60 billion.

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

He said China will make better use of foreign capital to help upgrade industrial structure and technological innovation.

According to Bo, China will boost foreign investment in the sectors of high-tech, advanced manufacturing, services, modern agriculture and environmental protection.

The minister said that foreign-funded companies are encouraged to use more local materials and machinery parts, adding that foreign companies are also welcomed to establish regional headquarters, research, development and training centres in China.

Bo said the government will continue to lobby more countries to recognize its market economy status (MES).

Some 35 economies have granted MES to China, Bo said.

Talks on bilateral free trade agreements will be another important job for the Ministry, Bo said.

He added that China has started free trade negotiations or related feasibility studies with 32 economies.

China now is working hard to formulate a policy on service outsourcing companies and will set up trial bases at home and select promising companies in the sector to go abroad, Bo said.

Statistics from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development show that the total value of the world outsourcing business is expected to reach US$300 billion this year, and the organization predicted that the growth would continue at a speed of 30 to 40 per cent annually and soar to US$585 billion next year and US$1.2 trillion in 2007.

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