Manufacturing News

Innovation 'key' to foreign trade efforts

China will roll out new measures to stabilize foreign trade and promote innovation-led development, amid the ongoing efforts to solve the COVID-19 related problems of companies, Commerce Ministry officials said on Thursday.

Despite the rising global uncertainties due to the epidemic, China's foreign trade has remained resilient and still has immense long-term growth potential, said Ren Hongbin, assistant minister of commerce.

"We are confident about meeting the preset target for foreign trade this year," Ren said during a news briefing in Beijing."We will focus on building a new dual-circulation development pattern, which focuses on the domestic market as the country's economic mainstay with domestic and foreign markets complementing each other. Under the new pattern, more efforts will be made to promote the innovative development of foreign trade, enhance the comprehensive competitiveness and formulate the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) for boosting foreign trade."

Ren's remarks came after China unveiled new guidelines on Monday for the innovative development of foreign trade, in a bid to foster high-quality development and gain an edge in global competition.

"Facing the grim and complex global situation, we need to further upgrade the growth model and economic structure, giving priority to the innovative development of foreign trade," Ren said.

After years of development, China is now working hard to transform itself from a large trading nation to a powerful one, with a key focus on transforming its growth model, he added.

Data from the Ministry of Commerce showed that during the first nine months of this year, shipments to emerging markets accounted for 48.7 percent of the country's overall exports, up by 8.4 percentage points from the level in 2008. Shipments by private enterprises accounted for 55.5 percent of the total exports during the January-September period, up by 28.7 percentage points over 2008.

Li Xingqian, director of the Commerce Ministry's foreign trade department, said cross-border e-commerce, which saw a 52.8 percent growth during the January-September period, and other new business models have provided fresh impetus for the further development of foreign trade.

He said more efforts will be made to promote cross-border e-commerce, including more policy support, fostering new business models for companies, speeding up construction of overseas warehouses and deepening international cooperation.

Bai Ming, deputy director of the international market research institute under the Ministry of Commerce, said China's foreign trade expanded by 4.6 percent on a yearly basis in October, making it the fifth consecutive month of positive growth.

"Under the dual circulation development pattern, China will continue to expand opening-up at higher levels. The transformation and upgrade of foreign trade will help China gain an edge in global trade cooperation and competition," said Bai.

"To make China a powerful force in global trade, we need to make a big push to encourage new forms of business and also foster new drivers of foreign trade, such as innovation in technologies and management models."

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