Retail in Asia


China’s 2021 foreign trade exceeds US$ 6 trillion

Eight years after reaching US$4 trillion for the first time in 2013, China foreign trade has hit a new high in 2021. The General Administration of Customs (GAC) announced on 14th January that China’s total goods imports and exports expanded 21.4 percent year on year to reach 39.1 trillion yuan (US$ 6.14 trillion) in 2021.

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The total trade volume climbed to 39.1 trillion yuan (US$ 6.14 trillion), up 21.4 percent year on year, with exports up 21.2 percent to 21.73 trillion yuan (US$ 3.43 trillion) and imports up 21.5 percent to 17.37 trillion yuan (US$ 2.74 trillion).

“China has been at the forefront of economic development and pandemic response globally, and maintained rapid growth in foreign trade, which registered a record high in volume and steady progress in quality,” said Li Kui Wen, the spokesperson of General Administration of Customs.

China’s imports and exports with ASEAN, the European Union and the United States gained 19.7 percent, 19.1 percent and 20.2 percent respectively, while its trade with Japan and the Republic of Korea climbed 9.4 percent and 18.4 percent. In addition, its trade volume with economies involved in the Belt and Road Initiative reported an increase of 23.6 percent.

China’s exports of medical materials and medicines more than doubled last year, and products related to the stay-at-home economy, such as laptops and home appliances, witnessed a 13.2-percent increase following an already-strong growth in 2020. China’s purchases of intermediate and consumer products overseas gained 24.9 percent and 9.9 percent, respectively, from a year ago in 2020, the GAC data shows. The country’s imports accounted for 12.1 percent of the world’s total in the first three quarters of 2021, up 0.5 percentage points from a year ago.

More Chinese enterprises are participating in foreign trade, with a total number of 567,000 Chinese enterprises participating in import and export activities, an increase of 36,000 year-on-year. Among them, the imports and exports of private enterprises reached 19 trillion yuan, an increase of 26.7 percent, accounting for 48.6 percent overall. Meanwhile, the imports and exports of foreign-invested enterprises was 14.03 trillion yuan (US$ 2.2 trillion), an increase of 12.7 percent, and that of Chinese state-owned enterprises reached 5.94 trillion yuan (US$ 934 billion), an increase of 27.7 percent.

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As global demand remains robust, China’s exports are expected to remain strong in the first quarter of 2022.