|STRONGER EXPORTERS: Workers assemble excavators at a factory belonging to Hunan Sunward Intelligent Equipment Co. Ltd. The company's products are exported to more than 60 countries and regions (LONG HONGTAO)|
How can China's exports rebound? This is a question Shi Shiwei thinks about almost obsessively. Shi, a professor at the University of International Business and Economics and a scholar of Sino-EU trade, hopes he can do something to lift China's gloomy export numbers.
"The severe economic situation naturally makes people think of expanding domestic demand. That's important, but this doesn't mean we'll give up on exports," Shi said.
On August 24-25, Premier Wen Jiabao paid a visit to Guangzhou, Foshan and Dongguan in Guangdong Province to investigate the economic situation and proposed that targeted measures be adopted to promote exports and stabilize economic growth.
Shi believes the reason Premier Wen is focused on export growth has to do with the weak foreign trade.
According to figures released by the General Administration of Customs, in the first eight months of this year, China exported $1.31 trillion worth of goods, up by 7.1 percent over a year ago. Exports of general trade grew by 7.7 percent and those of processing trade climbed 3.5 percent. In August, year-on-year growth of exports rose slightly to 2.7 percent from 1 percent in July, but fell dramatically from 11.3 percent in June. "China's exports now face big difficulties," Shi said.
The Chinese Government has already taken action to boost exports, including raising the tax rebate to 17 percent from 13-15 percent of some exported goods, such as furniture, garments and toys.
"We are earnestly implementing the State Council's measures of stabilizing foreign trade growth and reducing export costs for enterprises," said Jiang Yaoping, Vice Minister of Commerce, at a press conference on August 28.
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