From January to August this year, China's foreign trade grew 10.1% year on year. In August alone, China's foreign trade grew by 8.6%, down 7.9% from July. Recently, the Ministry of Commerce and other departments are stepping up to introduce a new round of measures to stabilize foreign trade. What can these measures do? What else can we do to stabilize foreign trade?
At present, more than three months before the end of the year, a new round of measures to stabilize and promote foreign trade is being introduced and implemented. On September 27, the Ministry of Commerce issued Several Policies and Measures to Support the Stable Development of Foreign Trade, which strengthened efforts to stabilize foreign trade from six aspects, including ensuring production and performance.
On the same day, the Ministry of Commerce and other six units issued the Reference to the Standard Operating Procedures for Imported Goods at Sea, Air and Railway Ports for Foreign Trade, focusing on improving the circulation efficiency of imported goods at sea, air and railway ports on the premise of ensuring epidemic prevention safety. How to view the new round of measures to stabilize foreign trade? What can these measures do?
The new round of foreign trade stabilization policy focuses more on how to stabilize foreign trade in the fourth quarter and next year
中国国际经济交流中心首席研究员 张燕生：外贸是一个慢变量，现在出台的一系列稳外贸措施，更多的还是着眼于今年四季度和明年的外贸怎么能够稳住。国际货币基金组织最近出台的报告中指出，今年的全球经济前景“黯淡”，但 2023 年的情况可能会更加严峻。最新的经济合作与发展组织的报告，预测美国经济今年将增长1.5%，明年增速将放缓至0.5%，欧元区经济今年将增长3.1%，明年增速将放缓至0.3%，也就是明年全球经济将下滑甚至陷入衰退的概率越来越大。因此，从这个角度来讲，我们现在出台的各项措施，很大程度是针对今年四季度，尤其是明年如何能够稳定外贸的可持续增长态势。
Zhang Yansheng, Chief Researcher of China Center for International Economic Exchanges: Foreign trade is a slow variable. A series of measures to stabilize foreign trade have been introduced, focusing more on how to stabilize foreign trade in the fourth quarter of this year and next year. The recent report issued by the International Monetary Fund pointed out that the global economic outlook this year is "bleak", but the situation in 2023 may be more severe. The latest report of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development predicts that the U.S. economy will grow by 1.5% this year, the growth rate will slow to 0.5% next year, the euro area economy will grow by 3.1% this year, and the growth rate will slow to 0.3% next year, which means that the probability of the global economy will decline or even fall into recession next year is increasing. Therefore, from this point of view, the measures we are taking are largely aimed at the fourth quarter of this year, especially how to stabilize the sustainable growth of foreign trade next year.
To stabilize foreign trade, how to deal with the uncertainty of slowing growth of foreign demand?
Zhang Yansheng, Chief Researcher of China Center for International Economic Exchanges: At present, the inflation rate of the world economy in the United States is very high, and that of the euro area is very high. In order to combat inflation, shrinking external demand is a highly probable event. Under such circumstances, in the first eight months of this year, the place with the best growth in our import and export was actually the "the Belt and Road", followed by ASEAN. Therefore, to stabilize foreign trade, first of all, we should stabilize the basic situation of our "the Belt and Road" market and the three economic cooperation zones of RCEP, namely ASEAN, Japan, South Korea and Australia and New Zealand. On the other hand, when we are in the most difficult situation, we are dealing with the enterprise in a big way, that is, whether the enterprise is lying flat or forging ahead at this time. If we want to forge ahead, we should work together for warmth, that is, we should do everything possible to win new markets, new products and new orders. These aspects are very important for our foreign trade enterprises.
Stabilizing foreign trade, how can foreign trade provinces continue to play the role of a big cantilever?
Zhang Yansheng, Chief Researcher of China Center for International Economic Exchanges: In the first half of this year, when I went to Suzhou, Jiangsu and Zhejiang for research, I found that under the circumstances of shrinking external demand and worrying foreign trade situation, some major foreign trade provinces are really "going out and bringing in" with innovative thinking, and it is obvious that enterprises in these major foreign trade provinces are also speeding up their transformation and upgrading, Efforts to promote high-quality development of foreign trade have also been significantly increased. It is obvious that they have more and more new products, new industries, new formats and new models, and can win some new and better orders in terms of opening up new markets and new customers for foreign trade.
To stabilize foreign trade, how can a large province of foreign trade continue to develop its strength?
The data shows that in the first eight months of this year, the import and export of seven provinces (cities) including Guangdong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Shanghai, Beijing, Shandong and Fujian accounted for 20.54 trillion yuan of China's 27.3 trillion yuan import and export scale, contributing more than 70% to the growth of foreign trade across the country. In the fourth quarter, how can the major foreign trade provinces continue to make efforts to better play their role as a cantilever?
Stabilize foreign trade, but also stabilize expectations
Zhang Yansheng, Chief Researcher of China International Economic Exchange Center: The current international environment is characterized by the stagnation of globalization, the slowdown of trade and investment, and the countercurrent of supply chain, industrial chain and trade chain, namely "de localization". In this case, how can we link up the industrial chain, supply chain, and value chain of foreign trade without decoupling, cooperation without confrontation, and openness without closing? I think we should strive for more cooperation with the world's trading partners, which is crucial to our next development.