China to maintain sizeable trade surplus for some time

Updated: 2007-09-15 10:47

China will continue to have a sizeable trade surplus for some time due to its trade structure and the global industry shift, vice commerce minister Gao Hucheng said on Friday.

China's trade surplus grew at an annual rate of almost 33 percent to US$24.98 billion in August, the General Administration of Customs said on Tuesday.

The figure was slightly higher than the US$24.36 billion in July, but short of the record US$26.91 billion in June.

"China's surplus growth will slow down with the implementation of a series of tightening measures," Gao told a press conference in Beijing.

"But it takes time for the measures to yield results as most of them went into effect after July 1. We are watching what possibilities might arise," he said.

Since the end of last year, the government has introduced a raft of measures ranging from export rebate cuts to export tariff increases for many exports especially those from the high polluting, and high energy and resource-consuming sectors, said Gao.

"Similar measures have been unveiled for the fast-growing polluting industries and those that can easily trigger trade frictions," he said.

"The government has also adjusted policies on processing trade as it contributes to more than 50 percent of China's total foreign trade volume.

"We stick to the concept of scientific development and also consider the concerns of some trading partners when (promoting) exports."

Gao told reporters that two-way trade between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was expected to exceed US$200 billion in 2008, two years ahead of expectations.

He forecast the trade volume to hit US$190 billion this year. It stood at US$127.95 billion in the first eight months.

The markets between China and the members of ASEAN were more open as goods and services trade agreements came into effect, Gao said.

"China's average tariff rate to ASEAN members has been reduced to the current 5.8 percent from 9.9 percent in July 2005."

The fourth China-ASEAN Expo would be held in Nanning, capital of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, from October 28 to 31, Li Jinzao, vice governor of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, announced at the press conference.

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