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  Nation leans on exports to keep moving forward  
Add Time:2009.12.08 Source:Stone Reads:

Improving exports and pushing for trade balance were among the key issues at the annual Central Economic Conference on Monday.

Officials at the conference said the government will maintain its foreign demand policy, diversify market strategies and tap into new markets.

In the first 10 months of 2009, China's exports slumped 20.5 percent year-on-year to $957 billion. Imports decreased to $798 billion, down 19 percent compared to a year earlier, according to official data.

"Though the global market is still unstable, I think exports in 2010 will exceed this year's level," said Song Hong, director of the Department of International Trade at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

China's strengths in exports over the past 20 years will allow the nation's exports levels to recover post-crisis and compete with other emerging countries, Song said.

Exports and imports are expected to grow in November, both at a double-digit pace, after falling for 12 consecutive months, according to a report released by Nomura international (Hong Kong) Ltd.

Next year's economic growth is still under enormous pressure. The government is sticking to its stimulus plan while decreasing local investments, so a growth in exports is needed, said Xu Mingqi, director of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.

China's GDP expanded 7.7 percent in the first nine months. Capital spending contributed 7.3 percentage points and consumption accounted for 4.0 percentage points, while exports were slashed 3.6 percentage points.

China should explore more overseas markets including East Asia, Latin America and Africa, while trade surplus with the United States will continue to decrease because of shrinking assets of American families. Trade with Europe is facing rising trade protectionism, Xu said.

The government also vowed to strictly control exports of resources-intensive and highly polluting and energy-consuming products.

Low cost is seen as China's biggest advantage in participating in global competition, but actually many real social costs haven't been considered thoroughly, for instance, cost of environment, Xiang Bing, dean of Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business said.

Analysts said a slow growing in exports on the other hand has provided a good opportunity for Chinese exporters to make adjustments in inner structure for long-term growth. Some small companies were closed down during the crisis.

The conference also said China would increase imports to promote trade balance and boost its services trade.

Rising imports would increase domestic spending and offset the pressure from trade surplus and massive foreign exchange reserves, said Xu.