Bilateral trade between China and Japan is expected to experience renewed
growth over the next few months, jumping to at least US$200 billion by the end
of this year, Ministry of Commerce spokesman Chong Quan said yesterday.
Chong told the 11th Sino-Japanese Economic Symposium in Changxing, East
China's Zhejiang Province, that Sino-Japanese trade had experienced slower
growth last year due to the deteriorating political relationship between the two
countries in recent years.
This year's growth will see Japan retain its position as China's
third-largest trading partner, after trade with the European Union and United
States respectively reached US$217.31 billion and US$211.63 billion last year.
Sino-Japanese bilateral trade enjoyed growth of 11.8 per cent in the first
eight months of this year, compared with an annual rise of just 9.9 per cent in
2005. However, the rise is lower than annual growth of 25.7 per cent notched up
"Growth in bilateral trade between China and Japan is in the interests of
both sides," Chong told the symposium, which was co-sponsored by China's
People's Daily newspaper and Japan's Nihon Keizai Shimbun.
He said Sino-Japanese bilateral trade had experienced a slowdown in recent
years, with the European Union replacing Japan as China's biggest trading
partner in 2004. While Japan is now China's third-biggest trade partner, China
is Japan's second-biggest.
Chong expressed optimism about the prospects for Sino-Japanese trade and
"China has seen a 10.9 per cent rise in gross domestic product in the first
half of 2006, the first year of its 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-10). We are also
glad to see that Japan has maintained steady economic growth over the past four
years. All these factors will offer valuable opportunities for the two countries
to strengthen their bilateral co-operation and create new growth in bilateral
trade," he said.
Participants from both sides at yesterday's event suggested China and Japan
should expand co-operation in the fields of environmental protection and saving
energy, an important aspect of the 11th Five-Year Plan.
According to the plan, China will invest around 3.8 trillion yuan (US$475
billion) in this field in a bid to build itself into an energy-saving and more
environmentally friendly society.
"It is a promising field in which China and Japan will have active and
effective co-operation. Japan has ample management experience and apparent
technological advantages in the area, such as burning rubbish, processing sewage
and the development of renewable energy," said Chong.
Nikai Toshihiro, Japan's former economy, trade and industry minister, said
Japan looked forward to expanding co-operation with China in these fields.
"In addition to the environmental and energy sectors, there is great
potential for China and Japan to develop trade co-operation in many new fields,"
"Today, about 80 per cent of Japan's investment in China is in the
manufacturing industry. China's ambition in developing its electronic and
biological technologies indicates more co-operation possibilities between
Chinese and Japanese businesses," he added.
(China Daily 10/10/2006 page9)