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China foreign trade likely to remain grim in 2017

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-01-13 11:01

BEIJING - China's foreign trade situation will remain complicated and grim in 2017 due to mounting protectionism and sluggish external demand, a commerce official said Thursday.

The country should shift away from an obsession with fast growth and focus more on structural adjustment while pressing ahead with supply-side structural reform, Sun Jiwen, spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce, said at a press briefing.

The country will create "a more law-based, international and convenient business environment" to facilitate trade, while continuing to ease the burden on foreign trade enterprises.

China will support foreign trade companies in exploring overseas markets, help improve their core competitiveness, and continue with proactive import policies to stabilize trade volume, Sun added.

Foreign trade volume dropped 1.2 percent from a year earlier to 21.8 trillion yuan (around $3.16 trillion) during the first 11 months of 2016, while the trade surplus shrank 5.8 percent to 3.1 trillion yuan.

December foreign trade data is set to be announced on Friday.

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