World Economy

Experts Say China Can Cope With Uncertain H2

Experts Say China Can Cope With Uncertain H2Experts Say China Can Cope With Uncertain H2

China is confident it can cope with a more uncertain second half of the year in maintaining a steady and positive foreign trade growth momentum, the general administration of customs said despite experts’ warning of pressure to China from a trade row with the US.

China’s trade grew 7.9% year-on-year to 14.12 trillion yuan ($2.11 trillion) in the first half of 2018, the GAC data showed on Friday. The nation enjoys a trade surplus of 901.32 billion yuan, but shrunk 26.7% year-on-year. Exports grew by 4.9% while imports rose by 11.5%, Xinhua reported.

In the second quarter, foreign trade grew by 6.5%, slowing down from a 9.4% growth rate in the first three months, GAC data showed.

GAC spokesperson Huang Songping said that foreign trade has largely sustained rapid growth, thanks to continued global economic recovery and a stable domestic economy.

However, Huang noted that there will be more uncertainties in the external market in the second half of the year, with the IMF giving similar warnings.

“The unilateralism and protectionism by a certain country is creating challenges to the stable growth of global trade, but we are capable of coping with that,” GAC spokesperson said.

Huang said the confidence is founded on the progress China’s supply-side structural reforms have made, the strengthening of the Chinese economy’s internal growth engine, the continued optimization of the import and export goods structure, market diversity and improved trade facilitation.

Trade with the US rose by 5.2% in the first half of the year, while China’s trade with the EU, its largest trading partner, climbed 5.3%. Trade with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations countries was up 11%.

However, the continued exports growth at 5.7% in the first half and widening trade surplus with the US have prompted concerns that the US may use the trade figure as an excuse to pursue more protectionist measures.

Wan Zhe, chief economist of the International Cooperation Center of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, told the Global Times on Friday that China cannot reduce its trade surplus with the US overnight, but that the general trend is the trade surplus with the US has been gradually easing in recent years as its trade structure balances off.

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