Chen Deming, Minister of Commerce (XING GUANGLI)
During a press conference at the Fourth Session of the 11th National People's Congress on March 7, Minister of Commerce Chen Deming answered questions on issues related to China's foreign trade, overseas investment and its future opening up. Edited excerpts of Chen's answers follow:
The principle for this year's foreign trade policy is to stabilize exports, boost imports and reduce trade surplus. The country's exports will face uncertainties due to complicated international and domestic situations, including exchange rate fluctuations, protectionism, rising prices of raw materials, higher labor costs and a shortage of laborers, as well as production cost hikes pushed by higher standards for energy efficiency and environmental protection. As for imports, we expect import growth to be relatively fast as the country steps up efforts to restructure the economy, push forward its free trade agreements and improve import regulations.
Imports will expand rapidly this year as the country steps up efforts to restructure the economy, push forward the establishment of free trade areas and facilitate import procedures.
This year imports growth may outpace exports growth. The proportion of trade surplus to GDP will continue to drop and the trade surplus will decrease further.