The figure showed the resilience of Chinese foreign trade, which continues to experience double-digit growth despite the effects of the global pandemic.
China's foreign trade maintained an upward momentum in the first seven months of the year, although uncertainties of global economic recovery have put more pressure on its exports.
General Administration of Customs (GAC) official Li Kuiwen reported that the country's total imports and exports expanded by 24.5 percent year on year to US$3.29 trillion from January to July. The figures showed the resilience of China's foreign trade, as it recorded double-digit growth even compared with the pre-pandemic level during the same period in 2019.
In July alone, the country's imports and exports rose by 11.5 percent year on year, representing a yearly increase in foreign trade for 14 consecutive months. However, the figure represented a month-on-month decline of 0.8 percent. It indicates increasing pressure on exports, said Bai Ming, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation.
New rounds of COVID-19 outbreaks have brought uncertainties to world economic recovery. In Southeast Asia, countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia have been affected by the pandemic. Lockdown measures in some countries have led to increasing port congestion.
High raw material prices, continuously rising logistics costs, and fluctuations in the RMB exchange rate also posed challenges to foreign trade enterprises. With increasing vaccination rates and gradual restoration of productivity worldwide, foreign countries have become less dependent on the Chinese production capacity. It is also one of the reasons for the decline of exports. But these challenges have not dampened the vitality of China's foreign trade.
In the first seven months, imports and exports of private enterprises rose by 31 percent year on year, accounting for 47.9 percent of the country's total. It is up by 2.4 percentage points year on year. China's role in maintaining the stability of global industrial and supply chains is irreplaceable.
“The risks and challenges currently facing China's foreign trade generally come from outside. It is forcing foreign trade enterprises to accelerate transformation and upgrading, seize the opportunity of the global industrial chain and supply chain reconstruction, and grasp the development trend of new business in foreign trade,” said Tu Xinquan, a professor at the University of International Business and Economics.