According to data from the General Administration of Customs, China’s foreign trade continued to strengthen in June despite the COVID-19 pandemic still raging in many parts of the world. The positive momentum unambiguously points to the effectiveness of the country’s prevention and control measures which have enabled it to resume production, and is further testament to the impressive resilience of the Chinese economy.
The country’s total foreign trade rose by 5.1 percent year-on-year in June, with its exports registering 4.3 percent growth and imports 6.2 percent growth. And although foreign trade decreased by 3.2 percent year-on-year in the first six months, the strong performance in June meant the contraction was 1.7 percentage points less than that over the first five months.
China’s brisk export performance in June, as analysts have rightly pointed out, is partly due to the catch-up in production and delivery of exports to clear the backlog of orders built up in the first quarter when the nationwide prevention and control efforts to contain the novel coronavirus disrupted trade activities.
Compared with May, when the country’s export growth was 1.4 percent and its import growth dropped by 12.7 percent, the significant improvement in June shows that the Chinese economy has been able to quickly get going again.
On the export front, June was the third consecutive month this year when China’s export growth was positive, indicating the country’s export enterprises are steadily recovering from the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic after they resumed work following their enforced dormancy.
Admittedly, the country’s exporters may probably continue to face severe difficulties as there are few signs that the current wave of pandemic will stop any time soon. But the June trade data are at least better than expected, adding to the possibility that overall the Chinese economy may continue to improve and register low but positive growth over the rest of the year.
The country’s hard-won improvement in foreign trade is especially exceptional considering the World Trade Organization warning in late April that the contraction of global trade may range from 13 percent to 32 percent this year and all regions may experience a double-digit fall in trade growth.
Following the turbulence in the first quarter, that exports have risen for three consecutive months is encouraging news. But looking ahead, the global trade situation remains uncertain and China will continue to encounter headwinds until the pandemic is brought under control worldwide.
Although China’s foreign trade development has sufficient room for maneuver, and the country is confident that the basic market of foreign trade will stabilize, under the current situation, the healthy and stable development of bilateral economic and trade relations with the United States would be a big restorative for the global economy.
China and the US should work together to implement their “phase one” economic and trade agreement. Doing so would not only be tangibly beneficial to both of them, it would also allow them to anchor their relationship on a hard-won consensus.
From: China Daily