[Week 42, 2011] Export Outlook Bleak with Fair Looming
2011-October-19 Source: Newsgd.com
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The outlook for Chinese exports in the months ahead is not optimistic, despite a strong willingness from global purchasers participating in the Canton Fair, said officials from the Ministry of Commerce on October 13.

Liu Jianjun, deputy director-general of the China Foreign Trade Center affiliated to the Ministry of Commerce, said that factors including currency appreciation, the continuously rising cost of labor and the global debt crisis, will heap pressures on the nation's producers and hurt exports for the rest of the year.

On October 13, the General Administration of Customs announced that China's exports grew by 17.1 percent in September from a year earlier, the lowest level of growth since February. Meanwhile, the nation's trade surplus fell to 14.51 billion USD, the lowest since May, as a result of a slowdown in export growth.

"China's foreign trade faces severe challenges because the European debt crisis is worsening, the US is troubled by high unemployment rates and there is excessive asset liquidity worldwide," said Liu.

This month’s Canton Trade Fair boasts 57,836 booths prepared for Chinese exporters and 23,702 export-oriented enterprises will be in attendance to display their goods.

"More than 31,000 Chinese makers and exporters applied for about 96,000 exhibition booths, but unfortunately, we cannot accommodate them all," said Liu, who is also a spokesperson for the trade fair.

By the end of September, the number of global purchasers looking for information about the fair surged 50 percent from the previous event, and 280,000 global buyers applied to enter. There has been a slight growth in applications from developed regions including the US and EU, but applications from emerging markets including Russia, Brazil, India, South Africa and the Middle East have also grown.

Liu said he is cautious about exports in the following months, despite global buyers showing strong interest in attending the fair. General Administration of Customs officials last week said that the yuan's appreciation has weakened the competitiveness of exporters.

Last week, the US Senate passed legislation that would allow the US to seek duties on Chinese exporters as compensation for "misaligned" currencies. "Such a move is not in line with World Trade Organization rules, and will hurt both China and the US itself," said Liu.

"We will try to expand the coverage for imports in coming fairs as a growing number of overseas companies have been seeking to attend in the past few years," added Liu.

Editor: Olivia
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