The high-quality development of China’s foreign trade will accelerate this year

The high-quality development of China's foreign trade will accelerate this year

As the first year of the “14th Five-Year Plan”, foreign trade development has attracted much attention. Data show that in 2021, the total value of China’s import and export of goods trade in US dollars will reach US$6.05 trillion, which greatly exceeds the expected import and export volume of US$5.1 trillion in 2025 in the “14th Five-Year Plan for Business Development”, and has exceeded expectations. increase. In the first 11 months of 2021, China’s total import and export of services was 4.68 trillion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 14.7%, and the trade deficit fell by 69.9%. The status of a major country in trade in goods is stable, the importance of service trade in foreign trade is more significant, and the comprehensive strength of foreign trade is further enhanced.

The foundation for the steady increase of foreign trade volume and quality continued to be consolidated. In 2021, general trade import and export will account for 61.6% of the total foreign trade value, an increase of 1.7 percentage points over the same period last year. Imports and exports to ASEAN, the European Union and the United States were 5.67 trillion yuan, 5.35 trillion yuan, and 4.88 trillion yuan, up 19.7%, 19.1%, and 20.2%, respectively. ASEAN is the largest trading partner, accounting for 14.5% of the total foreign trade value, indicating that emerging trade forces are gradually rising and playing an increasingly important role in the international economic and trade pattern. The export competitiveness of high-tech and high-value-added products has been continuously enhanced, and the commodity structure has been continuously optimized. In 2021, China will export 12.83 trillion yuan of mechanical and electrical products, an increase of 20.4%, accounting for 59% of the total export value. Exports of high-tech products reached 6.33 trillion yuan, an increase of 17.9%. The bulk commodity market drives import growth. For example, according to customs data, the average import prices of iron ore, crude oil, coal, and natural gas have risen by 45.2%, 42%, 54%, and 30.4%, respectively, compared with 2020. The trade deficit in services narrowed sharply, and the structure continued to be optimized. From January to November 2021, the import and export of knowledge-intensive services increased by 13.5% year-on-year, which was greater than the expected average annual growth rate of 8% in the “14th Five-Year Plan for Business Development”, of which the export of intellectual property royalties increased by 29.3%.

In addition to being affected by the “low base” in 2020, the main reasons for the higher-than-expected growth of foreign trade are: first, the global economy maintains a recovery trend, and the demand in the international market gradually recovers; second, the Chinese economy continues to recover steadily, and the effect of stabilizing foreign trade policies continues to be released; third, Affected by the epidemic in the international market, some orders have been transferred to China; fourth, the rise in commodity prices has greatly stimulated the growth of imports; fifth, innovative factors such as new foreign trade formats and models continue to play a role.

Looking forward to 2022, the international and domestic environment will become more complex and changeable. The world economy is expected to continue its recovery trend, the economies of developed economies continue to recover, and the demand in the international market is gradually picking up. Upside risks to global inflation have intensified, and the outlook is highly uncertain. China’s macroeconomic foundation is solid, foreign trade companies are resilient and dynamic, and foreign trade innovation and development continue to tap growth potential. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) has officially entered into force, and applications for joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Digital Economy Partnership (DEPA) will promote high-level opening up and strengthen regional economy and trade. cooperate. These factors have strongly stimulated the growth of China’s foreign trade.

At the same time, the differentiation of the world economic recovery has intensified. The IMF believes that aggregate output in advanced economies is expected to recover to pre-pandemic levels in 2022, while aggregate output levels in emerging and developing economies will take longer to recover. The new crown pneumonia epidemic is still spreading around the world, the transmission cycle and variants are still unknown, and the ups and downs are full of uncertainty. Commodity prices have risen, and the World Bank’s “Commodity Market Outlook” released in October 2021 pointed out that energy prices will surge by more than 80% in 2021 and will continue to rise slightly in 2022. The global energy supply is facing a shortage, and the prices of coal and crude oil have risen too fast. International logistics capacity is tight, and shipping prices continue to skyrocket. The supply chain of the international industrial chain is not well conducted, and the risk of supply and demand imbalance is rising under the restructuring of the industrial chain. The stimulus plan of the world’s major economies is unsustainable, and the Federal Reserve has released a signal to raise interest rates and shrink its balance sheet. Exchange rate fluctuations affect the normal operations of some foreign trade enterprises, increasing trade risks. These factors may lead to fluctuations in the growth rate of foreign trade.

Overall, macroeconomic growth is expected to moderate in 2022. Due to the high base of import and export volume, the continuous recovery of production capacity in some countries, the rising seaborne prices of resource elements, the increased risk of exchange rate fluctuations, and the continued promotion of deleveraging by the government, China’s foreign trade situation in 2022 will remain complex and severe, with instability, uncertainty and uncertainty. Balance factors increase. It is expected that the growth rate of foreign trade throughout the year will decline, but the overall situation will remain relatively stable, and the structure of foreign trade imports and exports will be further optimized to maintain the momentum of accelerated high-quality development.