China's foreign trade jumps 33% in January
China's foreign trade remained on the fast track in the first month of 2005 after the country grew into the third largest trader worldwide last year.
Exports grew significantly to US$50.8 billion last month, a 42 per cent rise over the same period of the previous year; imports hit US$44.3 billion, 24 per cent up year-on-year. The country achieved a trade surplus of nearly US$6.5 billion in January.
Although the fast pace of export growth has caused great concern, experts say the trade volume last month was greatly influenced by factors such as the Lunar New Year, which falls on February 9.
Economists predicted the trade gap this year would be narrowed compared with the previous year.
China's steady economic growth will drive up the demand for imports of raw materials, said Zhang Yansheng, a scholar with the State Development and Reform Commission.
This year the possibility of trade deficits would still remain for some months, he said.
He also estimated that China would achieve a favourable trade balance of US$15 billion in 2005.
In January, exports of general trade skyrocketed over 48 per cent to US$22.9 billion and the growth rate of imports slowed down to 12.7 per cent, bringing corresponding imports to US$19.5 billion.
Foreign-funded enterprises continued to play a significant role in China's foreign trade last month with exports standing at US$28.3 billion and imports hitting US$25.7 billion.
The trade volume of State-owned and private enterprises grew 16.1 per cent and 59.8 per cent to US$25.9 billion and US$15.1 billion respectively.
In addition, the country's economic ties with its major trade partners were strengthened as its trade with the Europan Union, the United States and Japan reached US$15.9 billion, US$14.3 billion and US$12.9 billion. They represented a respective year-on-year growth of 36.4 per cent, 30.8 per cent and 28.4 per cent.
(China Daily 02/17/2005 page1)