China's foreign trade off to a good start in 2023: official
This aerial photo taken on March 13, 2023 shows a container terminal of Taicang Port, east China's Jiangsu Province. (Xinhua/Li Bo)
BEIJING, March 20 (Xinhua) -- China's foreign trade has gotten off to a good start this year, with an upbeat trend to follow, a customs official said on Monday.
The number of containers for export has been rising since late February, Yu Jianhua, head of the General Administration of Customs (GAC), told a press conference, addressing recent reports of empty containers piled at Chinese ports that have sparked concerns over trade.
Weekly GAC data shows that trade has been improving since February, according to Yu. Although the foreign trade of goods edged down 0.8 percent year on year in the first two months, exports expanded by a better-than-expected 0.9 percent, Yu said.
Trade firms have reported increased numbers of new orders, and total exports of electric vehicles, lithium-ion batteries and solar batteries surged in the first two months, Yu said. These highlights could bolster trade growth in the months to come, he added.
Yu also cautioned against potential challenges such as dampening external demand and slow payments from some countries. The World Trade Organization lowered its forecast for 2023 global trade growth from 3.4 percent to 1 percent last October.
"Under the complex external trade climate lie opportunities, and the challenges are more global than local," Yu said, expressing confidence in securing stable trade growth this year as China's economic recovery continues.