BEIJING, March 21 (Xinhua) -- Despite mounting challenges, China will work hard to stabilize its overseas markets, Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng said Thursday.
The country will accelerate foreign trade restructuring to improve trade quality and build technology, brands, quality and service as new trade advantages, the new minister said during an interview with Xinhua.
He vowed to realize the goal of not allowing the growth rate in foreign trade to fall below that of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
In the domestic market, the priority is expanding consumption and cutting logistics costs, Gao said.
In regards to regional economic integration, Gao said every economy has the right to choose a suitable economic integration path based on its own situation and development level, and China holds an open and tolerant attitude toward this.
The international trade rule system represented by the World Trade Organization is the foundation for global free trade, and its role can not be replaced by any regional pacts, Gao said.
"Under the current situation, we should first safeguard existing multilateral trade rules and fight trade protectionism," Gao said.
China eyes an 8-percent increase in foreign trade in 2013. Its foreign trade climbed 6.2 percent year on year to 3.87 trillion U.S. dollars in 2012, considerably lower than the 10-percent growth previously targeted by the government.
Meanwhile, China has targeted 7.5-percent economic growth and 3.5-percent inflation this year.
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