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China foreign trade still faces strong headwinds

( Xinhua )

Updated: 2016-10-18

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China foreign trade still faces strong headwinds

A ship loads containers at a terminal in Qingdao, Shandong province. [Photo/China Daily]

BEIJING - China's foreign trade still faces strong headwinds as uncertainties mount, a commerce official said Tuesday.

The difficulties will not end in the near term, with uncertain and unstable factors increasing, Shen Danyang, spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce, said at a press briefing.

On Sept 27, the World Trade Organization cut its forecast for global trade this year to 1.7 percent, down from its previous estimate of 2.8 percent in April.

The new figure of 1.7 percent represents the lowest growth rate since the 2008-2009 financial crisis, reflecting a drastic slowdown in global trade this year, Shen said, adding that painstaking efforts from the country are needed to stabilize its foreign trade.

China's measures to stabilize foreign trade, which emphasize both exports and imports, have somewhat taken effect. "The country's encouragement of imports of advanced equipment and technology as well as key components contributed to the 2.2-percent growth in total imports in September," he said. Foreign trade in the first three quarters was down 1.9 percent from a year earlier to reach 17.53 trillion yuan ($2.61 trillion), with exports dropping 1.6 percent and imports falling 2.3 percent, official data showed.