UK Think Tank: China to see strong growth in foreign trade for rest of 2021

Aerial photo taken on Jan. 14, 2021 shows the container terminal of the Lianyungang Port in Lianyungang City, east China's Jiangsu Province. (Photo by Geng Yuhe/Xinhua)

LONDON, April 13 (Xinhua) -- China's exports and imports are both expected to see strong growth for the rest of 2021 due to positive global and domestic economic recovery, British think tank Oxford Economics said in a report released Tuesday.

"We expect export momentum to remain robust in the second quarter (Q2)," said the report, adding that a strong global economic recovery would underpin China's exports through 2021, despite the likely retreat of pandemic-related demand later this year.

Given global shipping delays could overshadow the near-term export outlook, China's role in global supply chains "doesn't seem to have diminished," said the think tank.

"On the contrary: China's exports have gained global market share since the onset of the pandemic, and the improvement has been broad based across goods categories in recent months," said the think tank.

Apart from the exports, the British think tank also said that "looking ahead, goods imports should continue to grow in the rest of the year due to the ongoing domestic recovery."

"We expect economic growth momentum to gain pace again after the temporary weakness in Q1 (the first quarter)," said the think tank, noting the fact that domestic travel and logistics "returned to 'normal' in March, and we look for consumption momentum to see a more visible improvement in the second half of the year 2021."

The report came as China's official data showed earlier in the day that the country's total imports and exports of goods surged 29.2 percent year on year to 8.47 trillion yuan (about 1.29 trillion U.S. dollars) in Q1 of 2021.

In the quarter, exports jumped 38.7 percent from a year earlier and imports climbed 19.3 percent in yuan terms, according to figures released by the Chinese General Administration of Customs (GAC).

Meanwhile, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations remained China's largest trading partner during the period, followed by the European Union and the United States, the GAC data showed.

In the first quarter, China's trade with countries along the Belt and Road rose 21.4 percent year on year to reach 2.5 trillion yuan (about 0.38 trillion dollars). The country's imports and exports to Vietnam, Indonesia and Poland achieved relatively rapid growth.

"So there's lots of opportunities for foreign companies to succeed in China and succeed right throughout the BRI (Belt and Road Initiative)," Stephen Perry, chairman of Britain's 48 Group Club, told Xinhua in a recent interview.

The 48 Group Club is a British trade organization that provides policy interpretation, information consultancy, legal assistance and other services for both British and Chinese companies.

"I think China is quite clear that its economy will have sizable foreign participation in order to protect the interests of the Chinese people and to help grow the economies of other countries," said Perry.

"In the long term, the best opportunities, as I said, are in China and in BRI," said Perry.

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