China's foreign trade shows upbeat signs amid external challenges in Q3: MOFCOM
China's Ministry of Commerce (MFOCOM) said on Thursday that the country's general foreign trade has been operated steadily so far in 2023, and showed a progressing trend in recent months amid weak global market activities.
MFOCOM spokesperson Shu Jueting made the remark during a regular press conference held on Thursday in response to media questions about whether China's foreign trade is still facing challenges due to a 0.2 percent year-on-year decline in the third quarter of the year, and noted that some export-oriented economies such as Vietnam and South Korea all saw obvious declines in foreign trade.
Since the beginning of 2023, global trade was affected by high inflation, surplus inventory, and geopolitical impact, said Shu. “WTO's data showed that global exports declined by 4.6 percent year-on-year in the first half of 2023, 1.3 percent decline in the first quarter and 7.8 percent decline in the second quarter,” the spokesperson mentioned.
In consideration of difficulties and challenges in growth, the WTO recently turned down 2023 global trade volume growth from 1.7 percent to 0.8 percent, and the global trade value will see a decline as the current situation of dropping commodities price, said Shu, noting that some export-oriented economies were affected as South Korea’s exports in the third quarter dropped by 11.5 percent year-on-year, and Vietnam dropped by 8.5 percent.
However, Shu stated that China's foreign trade is running steadily, and showed momentum of further progress in recent months while confronting various external challenges and risks.
During the third quarter of 2023, the scale of China's foreign trade saw consecutive increase, and hit an annual record in September, according to MFOCOM. In the first half, WTO's data showed China's foreign trade accounted for 14.2 percent of global share, 0.4 percentage points more than the previous year.
In terms of market equity volume, the number of domestic foreign trade enterprises has reached 597,000, nearly the total cumulative number in 2022. Specifically, trade volume of auto, ship, lithium battery, and bags kept rapid growth, and cross-border e-commerce platforms contributed remarkable driving force to the nation's foreign trade, said the MOFCOM.
As people have noticed, the ongoing 134th Canton Fair reflected the resilience and vitality of China's foreign trade with an upgraded number and quality of foreign participants, said Shu, emphasizing that China has confidence of further consolidating the current steady operational status to achieve the annual foreign trade goal as multiple positive factors are kept accumulating.