World Economy

China’s Run as World’s Top Exporter May End

China’s Run as World’s Top Exporter May EndChina’s Run as World’s Top Exporter May End

China, the world’s largest exporter, might face a trade deficit in the next five to 10 years as the second-biggest economy is ramping up imports, a former top Chinese official has said.

China could no longer rely on exports to expand its economy as it had done over the past 30 years, said Zhang Yansheng, former secretary general of an academic committee at the National Development and Reform Commission, PTI reported.

This is because exports became unsustainable and would put too much strain on ties with the rest of the world, especially as protectionism grows, he said. “The next stage is an open economy that focuses on a balance of trade,” Zhang told Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post.

“Expanding imports is a very significant part of China becoming a big global power,” he said.

China’s export and import volumes rose 14.2% year on year to 27.79 trillion yuan ($4.28 trillion) last year, ending the continuous drop in the previous two years, according to the official data quoted by state-run Xinhua news agency.

China’s exports increased 10.8% to reach 15.33 trillion yuan while imports surged 18.7% to 12.46 trillion yuan in 2017, the general administration of customs said.

The trade surplus continued to narrow last year, shrinking 14.2% to 2.87 trillion yuan, compared to a reduction of 9.1% registered in 2016 that saw 3.35 trillion yuan in trade surplus.

GAC spokesperson Huang Songping attributed the growth to the global economic recovery, steady domestic economic expansion, rising commodity prices, emerging markets along the Belt and Road and a low comparison base.

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