China set to become world’s largest exporter this year, says Beijing official

19 January 2007

Beijing, China, 19 Jan – China will overtake the United States and Germany this year to become the biggest exporting nation in the world, Chinese Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai has said.

“At the end of the year, the volume of Chinese exports will surpass those of the US and Germany to make China the biggest global exporter”, Bo was cited as saying by state Chinese television on Thursday.

Bo added that China’s coastal and southeast regions were responsible for 95 percent of the country’s predicted record trade surplus this year, set to surpass the previous record of US$ 177 billion in 2006.

The reduction of China’s trade surplus must be the “maximum priority”, added Beijing’s minister of commerce, as excessive surplus has a negative impact on both the domestic economy and Beijing’s foreign relations.

China’s trade imbalance has been one of the main causes of recent tension between China and its chief trading partners, particularly the US.

One of Washington’s main gripes is that China’s exports benefit from an undervalued Chinese currency, which, according to critics, gives Beijing an unfair advantage as it makes its exports cheap and imports artificially costly. (macauhub)