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Strong China-US trade and investment links

Publication Date : 02-01-2014


As the Chinese and US economies are increasingly intertwined, some remarkable highlights have emerged in economic ties between the world's top two economies, experts said.

China's imports from the US outpaced its exports to the country and Chinese investment growth in the US outstripped US investment growth in China.

The renminbi is becoming more internationalised and not forced to appreciate, said Zhou Shijian, a senior researcher at the Centre for US-China Relations at Tsinghua University.

Jia Xiudong, a researcher on international affairs at the China Institute of International Studies, said China's key areas for economic reform will grow into new opportunities in China-US economic cooperation. He urged closer collaboration in environmental protection, clean energy, finance and urbanisation.

At November's Third Plenum, China pledged to reduce the government's role in the economy, free up interest rates and let markets play a decisive role.

In 2012, the US was China's second-largest trade partner and largest export market. Bilateral trade rose 8.5 per cent year-on-year to US$484.7 billion, about 12.5 per cent of China's overall trade, according to the General Administration of Customs.

China's exports expanded 8.4 per cent to US$351.8 billion and its imports grew 8.8 per cent to US$132.9 billion. The first 11 months of this year saw China-US trade increase 7.6 per cent to US$472.1 billion. Chinese exports rose 4.9 per cent to US$335.1

billion and imports were up 14.9 per cent to US$137 billion, according to figures from the customs agency.

Wei Jianguo, a vice-chairman of the China Center of International Economic Exchanges and a China Daily guest economist, said that the US is likely to soon replace the European Union as China's largest trade partner as China-EU trade edged up just 1.8 per cent year-on-year to US$506 billion in the January-November period.

China and the US held the 24th China-US Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade from December 19 to 20 in Beijing.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang called economic cooperation the ballast of China-US relations.

He said both sides should tap the potential for further cooperation, respect each other's core interests and major concerns, properly handle differences and seek sound and steady growth in bilateral relations, according to Xinhua News Agency.

Li said he expects the US to relax restrictions on high-tech exports to China while providing a good investment environment for Chinese businesses.

US restrictions on high-tech exports to China were largely responsible for the trade imbalance between the two economies, experts said.

China's non-financial outward direct investment in the US jumped by 232 per cent year-on-year in the first 11 months, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

In September, China's Shuanghui International took over US pork giant Smithfield Foods for US$7.1 billion, the largest-ever Chinese acquisition of a US company.

US non-financial direct investment in China rose 8.6 per cent year-on-year to US$3.16 billion in the January-November period, according to the ministry.

US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker said during the JCCT meeting that "clearly we are entering a moment of opportunity in the US-China relationship. We should seize this moment to take both short-term and long-term steps that show we will pursue a balanced and ever-growing trade and investment relationship."  - With news reports




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