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Chinese trade director warns of “severe challenges” to Western exports

Chinese trade director warns of “severe challenges” to Western exports

December 7, 2011

Foreign Trade Director Wang Shouwen predicts a focus on developing markets following economic difficulties in key Western markets.

China’s commerce ministry has announced a significant slowdown in export growth and a shift in focus for exports to developing markets in Asia and Latin America, the BBC has reported.

Exports to the EU and US fell by nine and five percent respectively compared to 2010, although the total exports rose by 15.9 percent, in part due to substantial demand from Latin America. Despite this, the ministry has stated they will try to increase its imports from the West “in order to help support their economies and to balance out China’s trade surplus”, the BBC stated.

Foreign Trade Director Wang Shouwen commented: “Next year, I think that we face severe challenges in our exports and imports. There won’t be fundamental improvement in Europe or the United States, and costs at home will stay as high as this year, so the foreign trade situation will be severe next year.

“However, some developing and emerging economies are enjoying sound economic performances, so we will attach more importance to exports to these countries.”

There is speculation that China’s proposals to focus on developing countries may meet some difficulty, with research indicating Brzail’s economic growth has haltered and India may decide against opening the country’s economy to foreign competitors.

China has also recently announced a 32-month low in the manufacturing sector, with the country’s official Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) falling to 49.0 during November: the lowest level since March 2009.

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