(Yicai Global) Jan. 12 -- China's foreign trade volume rose 14.2 percent annually to CNY27.8 trillion (USD4.3 trillion) last year, ending a drop that spanned the two previous years, General Administration of Customs spokesman Huang Songping said today.
Moderate global economic recovery and steady expansion in China, progress of the Belt and Road Initiative and policies facilitating foreign trade contributed to the successful reversal of foreign trade contraction, Huang said.
An improved real economy fostered import demand, said Huang. Lowering import tariffs on some consumer goods, encouraging the import of advanced technical equipment and key components, improving trade facilitation as well as other policies and measures positively impacted the expansion of imports, Huang said.
The sound development of emerging markets was an important driver, Huang said, adding that China's trade with other Belt and Road countries increased 17.8 percent last year. Trade with Latin American countries rose 22 percent while that with African countries went up 17.3 percent.
The overall year-on-year rise in international commodity prices also led to foreign trade climbing, Huang said.
Chinese exports increased 10.8 percent to CNY15.33 trillion and imports rose 18.7 percent to CNY12.46 trillion last year. The county's trade surplus narrowed 14.2 percent to CNY2.87 trillion, the General Administration of Customs said.
Chinese trade volume with the European Union, the US and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations went up 15.5 percent, 15.2 percent and 16.6 percent, respectively, making up 41.8 percent of China's total, Huang said.
Imports and prices of communities such as iron ore and crude oil rose sharply, mainly due to China's solid economic development and booming domestic demand, said Huang.
Trade may face unfavorable factors this year such as structural problems in the international environment, fierce competition in the manufacturing industry and escalating protectionism, said Huang.