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Ways sought to improve weakening US-Guangdong trade
Latest Updated at 2008-October-17 09:48:36
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The southern province of Guangdong has seen a trade slowdown with the United States in the past nine months amid a global economic slowdown and the latter's financial crisis.

As of September, the trade volume between Guangdong and the US was $68.25 billion, a year-on-year increase of 8.1 percent, statistics from the Guangzhou Customs office show.

But the growth rate was 3.8 percent down from the same period last year.

Particularly, the increase in import volume from the US slowed to just 9.6 percent in the past nine months, year-on-year, 12.3 percentage points below the year-on-year growth in the same period last year.

Exports to the US of garments and accessories, toys and plastic products declined 20.8 percent, 2.4 percent and 10 percent, respectively, the statistics said.

Customs officials attributed the decline to the US financial crisis and the yuan appreciation.

Additionally, the tighter export control by the US on high-tech products to China has led to a decline of imports to Guangdong, officials said.

Sources with the Guangzhou Customs department said that the trade slowdown with the US is expected to continue or even worsen in the near future, as the international trade and economic situation is withering.

The US, after the European Union, is currently the second-largest trade partner of Guangdong, the leading economic and trade powerhouse in the southern mainland.

Despite the trade slowdown with the US, Guangdong is seeking closer cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in trade development.

In the first seven months, the trade turnover between Guangdong and ASEAN members reached about $35.8 billion, a year-on-year increase of 19.9 percent, according to the Guangdong Foreign Trade and Economic Department.

"Closer cooperation with the ASEAN will play an increasingly important role for Guangdong to maintain its leading position in terms of trade and economic development," said Feng Shengping, a researcher with the Guangdong Provincial Situation Study and Research Center.

Due to increased labor and production costs, and soaring energy prices, Guangdong will face more difficulties trading with the US, he said.

As a result, new ways must be sought to enhance trading in the coming years, Feng emphasized.

The importance of economic and trade cooperation between Guangdong and the ASEAN is well illustrated by a half-month visit by the Guangdong business delegation, led by provincial Party chief Wang Yang, last month.

In its visit to four ASEAN countries - Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia - the delegation signed a series of trade and investment deals worth about $10.9 billion.

Currently, the ASEAN has surpassed Japan to become the fourth-largest trading partner with Guangdong.

Editor: Yan

By: Qiu Quanlin Source: China Daily Website

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