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Guangdong official has high hopes for trade
Latest Updated by 2006-08-22 09:30:47
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Despite great pressure for an appreciation of the renminbi, a senior Guangdong trade official is optimistic that the province's foreign trade will secure an annual growth of at least 10 per cent before the end of 2010.

Zhong Jianhui, deputy director-general of the Guangdong Provincial Department of Foreign Trade and Economic Co-operation, expressed his belief that the province's import and export volume would reach more than US$680 billion by 2010, accounting for around 30 per cent of the national total.

The province's exports are expected to hit US$380 billion in 2010, while its imports are expected to reach more than US$300 billion.

In addition, the southern province also plans to attract annual foreign investment ranging from US$10 billion to US$12 billion between 2006 and 2010.

Zhong told a press conference at the weekend that an appreciation of the renminbi would have little impact on Guangdong's foreign trade.

He predicted that an appreciation of the renminbi would see an expansion of Guangdong's imports and a slowdown in the province's exports.

"Guangdong seeks balanced foreign trade instead of a big trade surplus," Zhong told the press conference.

In fact, Guangdong, which lacks many raw materials and energy resources, has to import heavily in order to support its economic growth, Zhong said.

He urged Guangdong companies to establish more overseas subsidiaries to purchase more foreign products and to further expand co-operation with their foreign counterparts while trying to boost their exports.

"And local manufacturers should also increase their investment in technical innovation to further improve their management standards and quality of their products in order to sell more high-value-added and branded products abroad."

Guangdong will continue to organize more investment and trade fairs abroad to assist local companies in expanding their international presence, he added.

Zhong's confidence was also based on the good performance of Guangdong's foreign trade in recent months.

The province's foreign trade volume reached US$277.06 billion in the first seven months of this year, up 24.1 per cent year-on-year. This was one percentage point above the national growth rate of 23.1 per cent during the same period, and represents 29.4 per cent of China's total.

The province's exports rose 27.5 per cent to US$156.34 billion from January to July, while imports increased 20 per cent to US$120.72 billion.

Meanwhile Guangdong approved a total of 4,054 directly foreign-funded projects in the first half of the year, with a contracted investment of US11.48 billion, up 13.5 per cent year-on-year.

The southern Chinese province, which borders the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions, attracted actual foreign investment of US$6.83 billion in the first six months of 2006, a year-on-year increase of 21.4 per cent.

Guangdong had a foreign trade volume of US$427.98 billion last year, up 19.8 per cent year-on-year. And the province used an actual offshore investment of US$12.36 billion in 2005, up 23.5 per cent year-on-year.

Guangdong has been the country's biggest foreign trader for more than two decades.

Its import and export volume usually accounts for about 30 per cent of China's total.

Editor: Yan

By: Zheng Caixiong Source: China Daily Website
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