World Bank lauds efforts to boost trade

- Oct 26, 2018-

Amid rising global trade tensions and domestic economic rebalancing, the World Bank assesses the evolution of China's foreign trade positively, and is "very impressed" with China's efforts to boost foreign trade, a World Bank economist has said.

China's foreign trade rose 9.9 percent year-on-year to 22.28 trillion yuan ($3.2 trillion) during the January-September period. Exports increased 6.5 percent in the period while imports grew 14.1 percent, resulting in a trade surplus of 1.44 trillion yuan, which narrowed by 28.3 percent.

"We do not see that as an imbalance," John Litwack, World Bank lead economist for China, told Xinhua in a recent interview, referring to the export and import growth rates. "We think that it is quite normal at this point in time."

The rapid export-led growth of the past relied on China occupying an increasingly larger share of world exports, he said.

"In the current period of rebalancing and world trade tensions, this is likely no longer feasible for political as well as economic reasons."

Noting that a steady weakening of China's trade balance as "a natural part" of the rebalancing process, the economist said: "We don't think that a shrinking trade balance is something for China to worry about right now."

A weaker trade balance can even be helpful in preventing the value of the renminbi from becoming too strong and thereby hurting the competitiveness of domestic producers, he added.

Meanwhile, Litwack cautioned China of rising global trade tensions, saying "the current world political situation cannot be ignored".