Stronger measures to tap overseas trade potential
More efforts to boost exports will likely contribute to overall economic growth
China is expected to adopt stronger measures to better tap overseas market potential amid soft global demand, according to experts and business leaders.
Despite challenges, China's exports will likely keep growing to contribute to overall economic growth this year, they said.
"There is still huge room for China's exports to grow, and the key is taking action toward this goal," said Ning Jizhe, deputy head of the Committee on Economic Affairs of the National Committee of the 14th Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.
To stabilize export growth, it is important for China to produce and export products the world needs, said Ning, who is also vice-chairman of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges.
According to data from the General Administration of Customs, China's imports and exports declined slightly by 0.8 percent year-on-year to 6.18 trillion yuan ($899.52 billion) during the first two months.
Exports increased 0.9 percent from a year earlier to 3.5 trillion yuan during the period while imports declined 2.9 percent to 2.68 trillion yuan.
Citing the trade data, Ning said the above-expectations export expansion was attributable to joint efforts from both the government and enterprises, and the country is capable of turning challenges facing its exports into opportunities, as the global economy slows down, dampening external demand for Chinese products.
That is because, he said, China has a complete industrial chain system and energetic foreign trade market entities, which can flexibly adjust their products and services to adapt to external changes.
Last year, global trade rose to more than $32 trillion while China's exports and imports totaled $6.3 trillion, pointing to huge growth space, he added.
According to Ning, China should take more actions to maintain stable exports to major trading partners such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the European Union, the United States, Japan and South Korea.
At the same time, the country is expected to further tap new market potential in economies participating in the Belt and Road Initiative, and economies in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, he said.
To achieve this, improving product quality while maintaining the price competitiveness of Chinese products will be key, for which China's pursuit of high-quality development will provide more support, he added.
Citing official trade data from the US side, Wang Yiming, vice-chairman of the CCIEE, said despite the US efforts to decouple from China, the two countries' economic ties remain resilient.
"The choice of customers and enterprises triumphs over that of the US government," he said.
Last year, Sino-US trade reached a record high of more than $690 billion and the US' trade deficit with China grew 8.3 percent annually to $382.9 billion, according to the US Commerce Department.
Li Dongsheng, founder and chairman of Chinese consumer electronics maker TCL Technology Group Corp, said Chinese enterprises' growing role in overseas industrial and supply chains will also help increase China's exports.
Chinese enterprises are building more overseas manufacturing, sales and client services facilities. As the enterprises get more shares in local markets with such operations, their imports from China, including key equipment, components and materials, will help expand China's exports, said Li, a deputy to the 14th National People's Congress, China's top legislature.
At the same time, Chinese enterprises will make more contributions to local economic development through such overseas expansion, he added.
TCL currently has 32 manufacturing bases overseas and gained 55.8 billion yuan in revenue generated from overseas manufacturing in the past five years, with an average annual growth of 13.8 percent, he said.
The company's exports surged from $8.5 billion to $14.9 billion over the period, growing at an average annual rate of 11.9 percent, he added.