Trade with countries along the Belt and Road witnessed growth as exports to Pakistan rose from 11 percent to 14.1 percent.
Meanwhile, China’s foreign trade stabilized and returned to growth in the fourth quarter last year with total foreign trade value up 3.8 percent in the three-month period data from the General Administration of Customs (GAC) showed on Friday.
In the fourth quarter of 2016, China’s exports were up 0.3 percent from a year ago while imports climbed 8.7 percent compared with a 0.3 percent decrease in exports and a 2.3 percent rise in imports in the third quarter, according to GAC spokesperson Huang Songping.
The country’s exports in yuan denominated terms dropped 2 percent to 13.84 trillion yuan (about 2 trillion US dollars) year on year in 2016 while imports rose 0.6 percent from the 2015 level to 10.49 trillion yuan.
The total export and import value decreased 0.9 percent year on year to 24.33 trillion, yuan Huang said at a press briefing.
In 2015, the country’s total export and import values decreased 7 percent year on year to 24.59 trillion yuan.
China’s foreign trade surplus narrowed to 3.35 trillion yuan in 2016 down 9.1 percent from a year earlier, according to GAC data.
Huang attributed the trade recovery to supportive policies, a rebound in external demand and a stabilising domestic economy. Despite the sluggish world economy and shrinking trade activity in the past year, some economic indicators slowly improved, Huang said citing the purchasing managers’ indexes in developed economies which suggested expansion in the last quarter.
Boosted by growing domestic demand crude oil imports in 2016 rose 13.6 percent to 381 million tons while iron ore imports climbed 7.5 percent to 1.024 billion tons, the GAC reported. –INP
Meanwhile, two maritime patrol vessels built in China for the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) arrived at the Gwadar Port on Saturday. The ships have been named as PMSS Hingol and PMSS Basol.
Availability of these latest ships to PMSA will further secure the sea against all crimes including terrorism. China and Pakistan are currently building nearly 3 000-km-long economic corridor linking Pakistan’s Gwadar Port on the Arabian Sea with Xinjiang to improve connectivity between the two countries.
The move would open up a new and cheaper cargo route for transporting oil to China as well as export of Chinese goods to the Middle East and Africa.
A Pakistan Navy official said the role of maritime forces has increased since the country has made the Gwadar Port operational and speeded up economic activities under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).