China's trade with its traditional markets saw an overall recovery and imports and exports with countries along the Belt and Road routes increased by 23.4 percent in the first half of 2017, said Huang Songping, spokesperson of the General Administration of Customs of China (GACC) at a press conference on July 13.
Customs statistics show that China's trade with the European Union, the United States and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) respectively rose by 17.4 percent, 21.3 percent and 21.9 percent between January and June, accounting for 41.4 percent of the country’s total foreign trade.
During the same period, trade with Russia, Pakistan, Poland and Kazakhstan grew by 33.1 percent, 14.5 percent, 24.6 percent and 46.8 percent.
China's foreign trade rose by 19.6 percent year-on-year to reach 13.14 trillion yuanin the first half of the year, keeping a steady andbalancedgrowth amid the mild global economic recovery. The World Bank, in its latest assessment of global economic prospects, predicted that global growth will strengthen from 2.4 percent in 2016 to 2.7 percent in 2017.
"Generally speaking, in the first six months of the year, China's exports and imports retained a stabilizing and positive trend from the second half of last year, showing an increasingly balanced growth," Huang said.
Exports rose 15 percent year on year to 7.21 trillion yuan while imports jumped 25.7 percent to 5.93 trillion yuan. This led to a trade surplus of 1.28 trillion yuan, down 17.7 percent.
Chinese private companies showed a strong performance in this period, recording a total value of 5.02 trillion yuan in foreign trade, up 20.6 percent. The figure accounted for 38.2 percent of the national total. Exports rose by 17.8 percent to 3.37 trillion yuan, while imports surged by 26.8 percent to 1.65 trillion yuan.
Electromechanical and labor-intensive products continued to be the major goods exported in the first six months of the year. Exports of electromechanical products rose by 14.6 percent to 4.13 trillion yuan, accounting for 57.2 percent of the country's total exports. Exports of automobiles, ships and mobile phones increased by 32.5 percent, 25.1 percent and 13.5 percent, respectively. Exports of labor-intensive products totaled 1.48 trillion yuan, up 12.9 percent, accounting for 20.5 percent of the country's total exports.