Asia News May 08

China foreign trade still under pressure

Improvement in April still can’t mask impact of coronavirus fallout on imports and exports

by Nadeem Xu
China foreign trade still under pressure

(ATF) China's foreign trade is still under considerable downward pressure despite an improvement in its April trade data. 

With the continued global spread of coronavirus weighing on the world economy and trade, China's foreign trade is facing unprecedented risks and challenges, said Gao Feng, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce, at a press conference Thursday.

China's foreign trade of goods inched down 0.7% year-on-year in April to 2.5 trillion yuan ($352.6 billion), narrowing from a drop of 6.4% in the first quarter, with exports rising 8.2%, according to customs data that came out Thursday.

Foreign trade companies are facing many difficulties, including order cancellations or delays, difficulty in signing new orders and poor logistics, said Gao, citing surveys into domestic chambers of commerce and enterprises.

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The commerce ministry will work to help foreign trade companies pull through the hard times with more targeted measures, for instance supporting exporters to sell their goods on the domestic market and keeping the global logistics chain stable, he said.

Authorities will also strengthen online channels to promote trade. 

The 127th session of the China Import and Export Fair, also known as Canton Fair, for instance, will be held online from June 15 to 24 due to the epidemic.