[Commentary] On July 22, the State Council Information Office held a press conference.

Guo Tingting, Director of the Comprehensive Department of the Ministry of Commerce, said that China's domestic consumption continued to pick up in the first half of 2021, foreign trade grew rapidly, the use of foreign capital increased significantly, and foreign investment cooperation was stable and orderly.

In general, business operations are stabilizing quickly and stably and improving, and high-quality business development has achieved new results.

  [Concurrent] Guo Tingting, Director of the Comprehensive Department of the Ministry of Commerce

  In the first half of the year, the total retail sales of consumer goods reached 21.2 trillion yuan, an increase of 23% year-on-year, and an average growth rate of 4.4% over the two years.

Cross-border e-commerce imports and exports increased by 28.6%, market procurement exports increased by 49.1%, and overseas warehouses exceeded 1,900.

Imports and exports to countries along the “Belt and Road” increased by 27.5%.

The actual use of foreign capital was 607.84 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 28.7%.

As of the first half of the year, overseas economic and trade cooperation zones have invested a total of US$47 billion, paid US$6 billion in taxes and fees to the host country, and created 380,000 local jobs.

  [Explanation] In addition, the "Belt and Road" economic and trade cooperation has also made new progress.

Statistics show that in the first half of 2021, China's trade in goods with countries along the “Belt and Road” reached 5.35 trillion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 27.5%. The growth rate is higher than the overall growth rate of China's foreign trade, accounting for 29.6% of total foreign trade.

  [Concurrent] Guo Tingting, Director of the Comprehensive Department of the Ministry of Commerce

  In the first half of the year, China-Europe freight trains opened 7,377 trains and sent 707,000 TEUs of goods, an increase of 43% and 52% respectively. The cumulative number of trains exceeded 41,000, reaching 168 cities in 23 European countries.

Countries along the Belt and Road have established 2,775 new enterprises in China, with a direct investment of 39.11 billion yuan, an increase of 67.8% and 49.6% respectively over the same period last year.

Up to now, China has signed 7 free trade agreements with 13 countries along the route.

In April, China formally deposited the "Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement", which is the RCEP approval letter, with the Secretary-General of ASEAN, becoming one of the first countries to complete the approval.

At present, Singapore, Japan, etc. have also submitted approval letters, and all parties are working to promote the RCEP agreement to enter into force as scheduled on January 1 next year (2022).

  [Explanation] Since 2021, with the accelerated pace of COVID-19 vaccination, some countries have experienced economic recovery and production has gradually recovered.

Li Xingqian, Director of the Department of Foreign Trade of the Ministry of Commerce, said that this is a challenge and an opportunity for China's foreign trade. It is expected that the growth rate of foreign trade will decline in the second half of the year.

  [Concurrent] Li Xingqian, Director of the Department of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Commerce

  According to our recent monitoring, about 40% of foreign trade companies’ newly signed export orders have increased year-on-year.

It is expected that the recovery of external demand and the steady improvement of the domestic economy will continue to support my country's (China) foreign trade development.

However, with the gradual increase of the base figure in the same period last year (2020), the growth rate of foreign trade will decline in the second half of the year, and the development of foreign trade still faces many uncertain and unstable factors.

The global epidemic is fluctuating and the world economy is recovering fragilely.

The problems of high raw material prices and poor shipping and logistics have further squeezed the profit margins of foreign trade companies and also affected their willingness to accept orders.

  [Commentary] Li Xingqian said that the Ministry of Commerce is closely following changes in the foreign trade situation.

In the second half of the year, we will focus on the outstanding difficulties and problems faced by enterprises, and work with relevant departments and localities to study and introduce more targeted policies and measures to effectively reduce the overall cost of foreign trade enterprises.

  Reporting from Beijing by reporter Lang Jiahui

Editor in charge: [Zhang Aolin]

Keywords: