Tech has key role in boosting imports

Updated: 2013-05-17 07:45

By Yu Ran in Shanghai (China Daily)

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Tech has key role in boosting imports

Buyers inspect agricultural equipment at the Canton Fair in April. China's total volume of foreign trade was 3.87 trillion yuan ($630 billion) in 2012, up 6.2 percent year-on-year. Provided to China Daily

Official calls for more purchases from developing economies

A leading Ministry of Commerce official said on Thursday that China should develop its import market by introducing advanced technology for local enterprises in order to balance the nation's import and export volume and upgrade its trading structure.

"We're keen to transform the mode of China's foreign trade structure by enhancing the import industry and retaining export growth at the same time," Jiang Fan, deputy director-general of the department of foreign trade at the Ministry of Commerce, said at the China Trade Development Forum on Thursday.

The nation's total volume of foreign trade was 3.87 trillion yuan ($630 billion) in 2012, up 6.2 percent year-on-year. The share of the global market was up 0.8 percentage points year-on-year to 11.2 percent.

The scale of imports expanded from $955.9 billion in 2007 to $1.8 trillion in 2012 with an annual average growth rate of 13.7 percent, which was 2.8 percentage points higher than the annual average growth rate in export trading, according to the ministry.

Purchases of minerals, oil, soybeans, cotton and iron ore keep growing to balance the import and export volume, said Jiang.

"Buying goods from regions such as Africa, South Asia and other developing economies should be encouraged in order to expand China's import market," said Jiang, as most of China's trade partners such as the United States and European countries are still experiencing a sluggish recovery from the global financial crisis.

In addition, the State Council issued a series of measures to promote balanced foreign trade development with more financial support and more convenient clearance services.

The Export-Import Bank, launched in 1994, is also working to boost the growth in imports.

The total value of loans made by the Export-Import Bank of China since 1994 is 3.8 trillion yuan, 700 billion yuan of which has been used to import high-tech and new energy related equipment, according to statistics from the bank.

"More advanced technology from overseas will be introduced to help small and medium-sized enterprises in China grow faster by continuously applying sustainable and innovative concepts," said Sun Ping, the bank's vice-president.

Sun added that more attention would be paid to helping SMEs catch up with State-owned enterprises through upgrading their products.

Being the direct beneficiary of the expansion of the import market in China, businesses are eager to receive advanced technology to upgrade their products.

"We're very delighted to receive professional equipment imported from overseas and also work with global partners by learning about sustainable clean technologies and other advanced environment-related products," said An Fengshou, president of China National Instruments Import & Export (Group) Corp.

(China Daily 05/17/2013 page16)